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Report: Holden "assured" of new Bolton contract this summer

StuartHoldenInjured (ISIPhotos.com)

Photo by ISIPhotos.com

By DAN ITEL

It appears the oft-injured, yet highly popular Stuart Holden will remain with the Bolton Wanderers for another season.

A report in The Bolton News indicates that the U.S. Men’s National Team midfielder will be offered a new contract through the 2014/2015 season with Bolton despite having suffered a trio of major injuries that have sidelined him for a majority of the past four years.

His contract with Bolton, where he has been since 2010 after leaving the Houston Dynamo, was set to expire at the end of the current EPL season. Bolton manager Dougie Freedman said he there is no rush to get Holden back on the field, hinting he may not have been ready to return last summer.

“Clearly, when he came back last year he wasn’t right,” Freedman said. “Hopefully, it is a lot different this time. He has spent a lot of time in America with the surgeon that did the operation, he has completely changed his running style, which I am told could have prevented the last problem.

“He is in a completely different mindset to where he was last time. Therefore, I am not going to rush this through. I want to make sure when he comes back he will be ready for the future.”

The original version of the Bolton News article on Holden’s contract situation stated that he was receiving a new contract, but a revised version of the story changed to state that an agreement is in place to keep Holden with Bolton through next season.

His latest injury came when he suffered an anterior cruciate ligament tear in the USMNT Gold Cup final victory against Panama last July. It was another major setback for the talented 28-year-old after a two-year road to recovery following another major knee injury against Manchester United in 2011.

Holden returned to light-duty training over the weekend with Bolton and is expected to ramp up the intensity over the coming days, the report said.

Holden made waves last month when he made a surprise guest training appearance with the USMNT during their January camp, his first training of any kind since the latest injury.

Freedman went on to say in the article that he was surprised at Holden’s talent level when he made his debut in 2010 but isn’t sure what to expect with his return.

“You can’t take what he was doing two or three years ago and expect him to walk straight back and do that again,” Freedman said. “You will put too much pressure on the guy.

“We all want him back and we are all frustrated. But you won’t see me making a call which puts the rest of Stuart’s career for the next seven or eight years in jeopardy because we need him tomorrow.”

47 comments
  • SoCal Soccer Mom

    Always good to hear good things about a nice guy. His commitment to return to the game is a testiment of determination. Think what the rest of us could do if we worked so hard.

    Like

      • UclaBruinGreat

        Exactly! Easy to rehab when that is all you have to do, and you get sent to the best trainers, and get paid millions to do it. I would be more impressed if he stopped getting injured so often. His knees appear to be made of glass. I am a fan but can’t ignore his track record. “Your best ability is your availability.”

        Like

      • away goals

        Yeah crazy to think that all these paid athletes used to be regular joes just like us until their names were drawn from a hat. Now they’re making millions.

        They definitely didn’t spend tens of thousands of hours on their craft while we were watching reruns of gossip girl and eating arbys.

        Like

  • Ryan

    Can anyone tell me how much Stu makes, and if he gets paid for the the four years he hasn’t been healthy? Not hating, just wondering if he’s gotten TWO extensions because of how much they’re paying him, or because of how much faith they have that he is an irreplaceable player.

    It’s all very confusing to me, but it’s awesome to see a foreign club do so much for this guy.

    Like

    • joshw

      That’s scary stuff, particularly when you consider that the last time I heard anything along those lines it was in a story about John O’Brien.

      Like

      • The Imperative Voice

        I like him but the O’Brien parallel is gaining momentum. People don’t realize he was a Sunderland kid before he had injuries there and ended up in Houston.

        I continue to believe the worst thing that happened to him was being moved inside. He was a fluid, athletic wing with a strong cross, which is how Bradley used him in ’10. But Kinnear used him as a DeRo filler and coaches since then have used him as a CAM or DM. He gets hurt over and over playing in the middle, to me, because his touch game and skinny build encourage people to tackle the crud out of him (a la DmB, who would probably have snapped in several pieces years ago if used centrally). I therefore suggest for the umpteenth time that he get played wide.

        Like

      • Pat

        He HAD INJURIES at Sunderland???

        If memory serves, he was attacked by rival ultras outside of a bar and beaten to the point where he was hospitalized. You’re putting that under “he’s got the injury bug?”

        Like

      • The Imperative Voice

        He had both the “street fight” issue and ankle problems. One incident alone is not why he never played first team ball there.

        Like

    • KingGoogleyEye

      No. I changed mine substantially due to shin splints. It took about 1 month of running (3x per week) to really change it, then another few months before it become totally subconscious.

      My guess would be that Stu was landing heel first—which puts a lot of strain in the knee—instead of on the balls of his feet.

      Like

    • Michael

      I’m not an expert on kinesthesiology, so there’s a very good chance that I’m wrong – but I would guess that it’s similar to learning to read. That is to say: through extensive practice and repetition – and over many hours – we essentially re-wire our brains when we learn to read. I would imagine that, through constant repetition and practice, over many hours, an athlete can re-wire his brain so that he can run differently without consciously thinking about it.

      But this is just the guess of a high school teacher with a professional curiosity about neurology and learning – I’d love to hear what someone with a background in athletic training and/or physiology (or someone who’s an expert in neurology) has to say.

      Like

      • Northzax

        Athletes do this sort of thing all the time, with varying degrees of success. Think of a quarterback who changes his throwing motion, or heck, a baseball pitcher who changes his pitching motion after injury (or to prevent injury) actors learn to change how they speak, singers change how they sing, etc.. You start at the beginning and work with a trainer over and over and over again until it’s second nature.

        Like

  • fischy

    Always good to get get good news about Stu. Just curious — why would a contract for a player in the Championship expire at the end of the EPL season?

    Like

    • Ali Dia

      That’s actually a pretty interesting question (assuming it’s not just an oversight by the writer). Given that the promotion playoffs take place after the end of the EPL season, the player could theoretically be out of contract for these fixtures. Obviously, Bolton aren’t exactly sniffing around promotion, but an interesting situation, if true.

      Like

    • iggy

      could just be an oversight, and was supposed to be championship season, which i think is just a week or two earlier than the prem.

      Like

  • Jimmy

    JK obviously loves this dude and it seems like all the other USMNT players do as well. And what’s not to like? He has a super positive attitude, works really hard, and brings a good vibe to the group. (at least that’s what it seems like from the outside looking in)

    I wonder if JK would bring Stuart to Brazil as part of the staff or something (another “Motivator” like the phone book guy?!?!) since his chances of playing in Brazil seem very slim…just a thought.

    Like

      • fischy

        YOUR KEYBOARD IS IN REAL TROUBLE! NOT ONLY IS YOUR CAPS LOCK STUCK, BUT YOU’VE ALSO LOST THE APOSTROPHE???

        Like

      • MisterJC

        Lol! I know this shouldn’t still be funny after all this time, but it is…

        Like

    • fischy

      Frank, I know others and I have made fun of your posts — but after this insight, I can no longer share in that.

      Stuart Holden. Well said. In fact, you should have stopped there.

      Like

  • espada

    I would cheer loudly if he comes on the pitch in Russia 2018. Such an inspiration to us all.

    Like

  • Gary Page

    This seems to me to be a pretty remarkable commitment from his team to give a contract extension to someone who has been injured so much. Bolton must both highly rate him and feel confident that he can play again at a high level. Good luck to Stu who is certainly due some.

    Like

  • Mr. O

    He’s terrible. They shouldn’t re-sign him. Let him walk!

    AND we’ll sign him in Portland. :)

    Like

    • H-town

      Sorry.. But he is going to Houston if he is going anywhere. He has made that clear. He only wants to play for Dom in the city he loves!

      Like

      • timmytwoshoezzz

        Ha, Portland and Houston fans fighting over which team gets to pay Stu Holden money while rehabbing from his umpteenth injury.

        Like

  • dude1

    I hope it’s not the last one. His story, unfortunately, has been writing itself for too long

    Like

  • GW

    Won’t giving him a contract at this time decrease his desire to get back in a more timely fashion?

    Like

    • The Imperative Voice

      It would encourage him to be smart and deliberate in his recovery since his future is secure, rather than rash because he would not have any assurance where he’d be drawing a paycheck in a few months.

      Like

    • Gary Page

      This is like saying we have high unemployment because people have become lazy–which some people do say. It’s a stupid fallacy. Playing the game is the raison d’etre for professional athletes.

      Like

  • Dan

    I would strongly doubt essentially anyone’s capacity to come back from Stu’s injuries. But I won’t doubt Stu.

    Like

    • UclaBruinGreat

      Not to be a jerk, but people like you crack me up with comments such as this. All Stu Holden has done is get injured, then rehab, then come back and play and immediately get injured again.. repeat cycle. I see nothing extraordinary in this. He is a young professional athlete making hundreds of thousands to millions of dollars. Did anyone of you actually expect him to say, “Oh darn I got injured again, let me just quit/retire and give up all that money and my chance to not have to do anything but play soccer and rehab for a living”?

      Dan what your comment should have read is, “When it comes to Stu, I strongly doubt that he will be able to play for more than a couple of months before getting injured with another 6 month to year long injury”.

      Like

    • UclaBruinGreat

      Not to be mean, but people like you make me laugh with comments such as this. All Stu Holden has done is get injured, then rehab, then come back and play and immediately get injured again.. repeat cycle. I see nothing extraordinary about that. He is a young professional athlete making hundreds of thousands to millions of dollars. Did anyone of you actually expect him to say, “Oh darn I got injured again, let me just quit/retire and give up all that money and my chance to not have to do anything but play soccer and rehab for a living”?

      Dan what your comment should have read is, “When it comes to Stu, I strongly doubt that he will be able to play for more than a couple of months before getting injured with another 6 month to year long injury”.

      Like

  • Scruff

    The only guy i can think of that came back and killed it after always being hurt was Robbin. Im not sure if he had the same level of knee problems holden did.

    Genetics are a bitch. Its sad bc he was one of the few CM that had some sort of offensive punch in the NT pool

    Like

    • away goals

      Dude doesn’t have sickle-cell he had his leg exploded by an external force on multiple occasions. I don’t think that was hardwired into his dna.

      Like

  • jo jo bean

    dont sign for bolton they are getting relegated sign for a different team who wouldnt want holden on a free

    Like

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