SCOTLAND captain Darren Fletcher admits he still has no idea when he will be able to resume playing duties due to his ongoing battle with ulcerative colitis.
The 29-year-old Manchester United midfielder has played just 13 games since announcing he was taking an extended break from football in November 2011 after he was diagnosed.
He has undergone numerous operations - the last of which took place in January - and been put on a strict dietary regime in a bid to correct his stomach condition and allow him to resume playing duties.
However, he will miss the start of the season and admitted he has no firm date pencilled in for his comeback.
Fletcher said: “I’m still in the hands of the surgeons at the moment - I’ve not actually started training yet.
“I’ve been doing my own little bit in the gym, which is keeping me ticking along nicely and I’m waiting for the surgeon to give me the go-ahead to join in training.
“I don’t have a timescale for when I will be back playing really. Hopefully it is not going to be too far away in the distant future. I just need to be patient.”
Scotland have four more games scheduled for 2013 - a friendly with England next week, World Cup qualifiers with Belgium and Macedonia in September, and a further qualifier against Croatia in October.