Thursday Kickoff: Coyle rules Holden out, Monterrey reaches CCL final & more

Thursday Kickoff: Coyle rules Holden out, Monterrey reaches CCL final & more

Americans Abroad

Thursday Kickoff: Coyle rules Holden out, Monterrey reaches CCL final & more

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Holden (Getty Images)

Stuart Holden won't be making his comeback for Bolton this season.

Bolton manager Owen Coyle made that much clear in comments on the club's official website. Even though six months — the injury timetable given when cartilage damage in his knee was discovered — since his last surgery have passed, the relegation-threatened club is not taking any chances and rushing him back.

"The biggest single thing is that we want him back on the pitch wearing the Bolton strip, because he is such an influential player for us and we have missed him, but he won't be fit for this season," Coyle said.

Holden had been in Delaware for the last three months rehabilitating his knee injury with renowned trainer James Hashimoto, and he rejoined Bolton this week.

"(Holden) is such a bubbly and infectious character, and so it's certainly good to have players like that in your group," Coyle said. "Stuart certainly adds to what we have got in terms of team spirit, which is great."

Here are a few more stories to get your day going:

MONTERREY RETURNS TO CCL FINAL

Monterrey played Pumas UNAM to a 1-1 draw Wednesday night, securing passage to the CONCACAF Champions League final for the second straight year on a 4-1 semifinal aggregate.

Los Rayados had won the opening leg 3-0, and Angel Reyna's first-half goal put the tie beyond all doubt. Antonio Garcia scored a consolation goal for Pumas in the 71st minute, but there was little else Pumas could do to prevent Monterrey from getting a chance to defend its title.

The all-Mexican final between Monterrey and Santos Laguna will be played on April 17 and 24, with Monterrey hosting the opening leg.

TERRY PLAYING WITH CRACKED RIBS

Chelsea captain John Terry has reportedly been playing with two cracked ribs, and he is set to undergo medical tests to determine the severity of the injury after having difficulty breathing, according to reports out of England.

Terry said that he suffered the injury in Chelsea's first-leg UEFA Champions League victory over Benfica last week and played through it for the remainder of that match along with a league match against Aston Villa over the weekend.

"I couldn't breathe and my chest was closing up," Terry said following Wednesday's second leg against Benfica. "I was having a difficult time out there, especially in the first half. Hopefully, I'll be OK."

Chelsea is a couple of weeks away from embarking on a brutal part of the schedule, with an FA Cup match against Tottenham followed by a UCL semifinal first leg against Barcelona, a league match against Arsenal and the second leg with Lionel Messi & Co.

MOURINHO PLAYS DOWN CHELSEA'S CHANCES

Jose Mourinho is never one to mince words, and that remained the case Wednesday when talking about his former team's chances in the UEFA Champions League.

While stopping short of proclaiming that his Real Madrid would reach the final, Mourinho all but guaranteed that Chelsea will not be making it there, saying that the Blues have no chance to dethrone Barcelona in their semifinal. 

"It could be Bayern or Barcelona, I just don't think it will be Real Madrid vs. Chelsea, and we know why," Mourinho told reporters. "Barcelona aren't the favorites, they are super-favorites."

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Disappointed that Holden won't play this season, or did you expect that all along? Who will win the CCL, Santos Laguna or Monterrey? Do you think Chelsea can be successful during their upcoming stretch if Terry has to miss time? Do you agree with Mourinho?

Share your thoughts below.

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