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Holden to remain with Bolton while continuing rehab

StuartHoldenBolton2-Sunderland2013 (Getty)


Bolton Wanderers manager Dougie Freedman has extended a helping hand to Stuart Holden as he continues to recover from yet another ACL tear.

Despite his contract expiring in June, the American will remain at the club to work on his fitness and get back to full health, before potentially signing a new contract to play for the club.

Holden tore the anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee playing for the Bolton reserves against Everton on March 3. The 28-year-old midfielder went down without contact and walked off under his own power, but an MRI later confirmed the tear. Holden was given a timetable to return within six to nine months, meaning he could be back on the field some time between September and November.

Last July, Holden tore the same ACL while playing in the CONCACAF Gold Cup final for the United States. When Holden reaches the end of his current rehabilitation process, he will be able to play in friendlies and matches with the U-21 and development squads.


What do you think of this news? Glad to hear that Bolton are willing to stay by Holden’s side in his recovery? Do you expect him to make a return to the field this fall?

Share your thoughts below.


  1. I actually hope he doesn’t get called in my the USMNT before 2016. He needs to sloooowly ramp up and not put unnecessary wear and tear on his body.

  2. credit to bolton but he has been out of the game for so damn long it’s a tough road. its a sad shame since he was looking to become a world class CM. Hopefully things go well this time and go slowly. He and Bolton have waited this long I really hope they don’t rush him on

  3. He’s the Terrell Davis of the American team… minus a Super Bowl [equivalent]… it’s too bad, he’s fantastic. Hope he had a new doctor this time around to repair it.

    • I think Stuart would have helped with our “possession problems” in this World Cup. He was the most technically gifted player we had.

      • The possession problem was tactical, derived from the formation, the selection, the numbers back. Once you do that there are few outlets, and not a lot of support as you try and advance the ball. Counterpunch soccer.

        Our possession levels might have differed if we’d pushed forward but then the risk was exposing this back four. The back four may have dictated the tactics. Every time the formation got stretched and they had to play open field defense they struggled and allowed goals, Ronaldo, Lukaku, etc. So we bunkered. But then that kills possession.

        I think the personnel would have been different if we were tactically attacking more but then the tactics were driving the bus.

      • A healthy, game-fit Holden would have been the perfect solution for the attacking/distributing mid-fielder role that Bradley struggled to adapt to.
        When he was firing on all cylinders Holden played like a son of the River Plate.
        To your health Stuart.
        Bon chance.
        We need you. Big time.

      • He was great, but you have to accept the facts. Not a single one of our midfielders (nor Donovan) would have made the Belgium team. Could tactics have improved the dominance? Probably. A bit. Not meaningfully.

        Holden would probably not have made it either– even on his best form and best day– but he was a step in the right direction. We need mids in Holden’s mold or better by the bunches.. Not fancy forwards. Not tricky wingers. We don’t need to think about anything on the forward line until we can find guys who can keep the ball in the other half of the field. Bradley did not have a good tournament but he is really all we have here right now. Having a superb out-and-out forward prospect like AJ in the squad is quite a waste of talent if we can’t move the ball into the final third and keep it there. Jozy is able to mitigate this problem a bit with his ability to drop deep and hold, but that is not a permanent solution. I’d rather see this solved with the linkup between defense and CM, but this is where the quality premium is highest.

  4. Credit to Bolton, they’re hanging on to hope like the rest of us. Holden has been a superstar during his recovery, but his body is telling him that his days at the top are numbered. I just hope he gets a couple more seasons to earn money.

    Then please let him retire and take over from Twellman, who has to be the worst commentator. The guy talks as though he went to the World Cup, was the best player there, and knows everything. (rant over)

    Good luck Stuart, you deserved better than your injury-ridden career.

    • Bolton knows what all american fans know: On the field or off of it, Holden brings a lot to a team/club. They’ve already said there will always be a place for Stu at Bolton, regardless if its on the field or in the front office, so this shouldn’t come as a surprise.

    • Credit to Bolton? I’d swear they were promising to keep him, ie, extend the deal. This is more like we won’t kill your access card and will connect you to team doctors maybe, but we won’t pay you until the bona fides are established.

      Surely someone would PAY Holden to contract with them and rehab, in exchange for the percentage chance they get his services on the other end.

      Far as I’m concerned he owes them nothing since the whole point is they’re not committing to him. The Dynamo would surely give him a training home in a city with a strong medical community, and probably put him on the payroll while doing so.

      • What is different between what you are talking about with Houston, and what Bolton are doing? They have very credible doctors in England you know… it isn’t the third world. He obviously is getting treated in a way that he appreciates there, or he would leave. Bolton would have killed the relationship if they didn’t value him (particularly as the re-injury did not happen on their watch), and the behavior of both parties suggests that they are happy to continue.

        You don’t know that he isn’t being paid, only that he isn’t on a professional football contract (which no responsible club would sign him to right now). Probably they view him as pretty much everybody else seems to… as a great locker room influence and an excellent coaching prospect. I’m sure the club has found he has some current income on this basis. Or you’re right… he’d be in Houston.

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