Posted December 17, 2013

Bolton manager: Stuart Holden still has ‘a long way to go’ in comeback

Americans Abroad, Avi Creditor, U.S. men's national team, U.S. Soccer
Stuart Holden

U.S. midfielder Stuart Holden is on the comeback trail after tearing his ACL in the CONCACAF Gold Cup final this past July. (Gregory Bull/AP)

Stuart Holden’s comeback was one of the stories of U.S. Soccer in the first half of 2013, with his return to the national team fold after a two-year hiatus rekindling dreams and visions of him roaming the midfield along with Michael Bradley as the U.S. took on the world’s best in Brazil next summer.

Then, the seemingly snakebitten Holden suffered his latest setback. While doing his part in helping the U.S. to a CONCACAF Gold Cup championship in July, Holden suffered another long-term knee injury, tearing his right ACL in the opening stages of the final against Panama.

Five months removed from his latest injury, Holden continues to navigate the comeback trail, and he has returned to his club, Bolton, for a short stint before coming back to the U.S. for more rehabilitation, according to the club’s website. He’s not close to a playing return, though.

“If we’re being honest, he’s still got a long way to go,” Bolton manager Dougie Freedman told BWFC.co.uk. “Don’t expect to see him out on the pitch in the coming weeks, but knowing Stuart and his mentality, he’s working as hard as he possibly can to get back out there.

“The plan is pretty straightforward. Stuart is back over here to spend a few weeks with our medical guys. We’ll see where he is, and then he’ll head back to the U.S. to continue his rehabilitation.

“The main reason for that is because he’s already started his rehab work over there. The weather is also better for him to work in. Once he has made significant progress on that front, probably about six to eight weeks, he’ll then come back to us to step up the work on the football side of things.”

While Holden continues his return to playing shape, he hasn’t been staying far from the game. Holden endured a busy weekend of spectating, first acting as a coach during the Brian Ching testimonial match in Houston on Friday before joining the Bolton faithful in the away end at DW Stadium for the club’s 3-2 loss to Wigan Athletic on Sunday, according to the club.

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