Sir Alex Ferguson has confirmed Manchester United midfielder Darren Fletcher is yet to attempt a comeback from his chronic bowel complaint.
The Scotland international was forced to take a break from football in December after he was diagnosed with ulcerative colitis.
And whilst Ferguson insisted the Old Trafford outfit would provide Fletcher with "all the time he needs", there must now be some doubt over the Scotland star ever playing at the highest level again.
"He has not started training with us," confirmed Ferguson.
"He has obviously got great challenges ahead.
"We are happy to be patient but he won't be starting the season.
"It is unfortunate because he is such a magnificent professional and such a nice lad. If it doesn't work for him, he knows he has a position at the club anyway."