Michael Steele

Stuart Holden back in full training

Stu Holden is still some ways off of a full return to Bolton Wanderers but the midfield dynamo is inching ever closer.

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8 Total Updates since December 6, 2012
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Official: Stu Holden to make comeback tonight

Bolton fans are understandably buzzing as Stuart Holden makes a massive step in the recovery process. As we reported this morning, Holden is set to make a return to action with Bolton Wanderers' reserve side against Bury. The match is a Manchester Senior Cup clash and while there was speculation about this for the last month, it has now been made official.

Stu Holden's brother, Euan Holden, a defender for Stockport county, just tweeted the following:

Stu is set to get 45 minutes tonight in what is his first competitive action since last the Carling Cup match against Aston Villa in September, 2011. As fans of both Bolton Wanderers and the United States Men's National Team, we obviously wish Holden the best of luck tonight and most importantly, hope that he remains injury free.

Holden is not expected to make a full first team return until February at the earliest, it seems.

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Potential Christmas reserve return for Stu Holden

With yesterday's excellent news out of Dougie Freedman's press conference that Stu Holden was back in full training with the squad, it all seems to be happening a little fast. Today, Dougie has said that should things go well, Holden could be back in action with Bolton's U21 (reserve) side as soon as Christmas.

Bolton Wanderers are being cautious with Stu and are being attempting to be careful in not rushing him back. However, indications are that Holden is ahead of schedule. As for potential upcoming fixtures, Bolton's U-21s are scheduled to be in action only once before the end of the year, with a Manchester Senior Cup match against Bury scheduled for around Christmas.

A report out of the Bolton News has made it clear that Dougie's intentions are to play that match at the Reebok Stadium instead of the usual Leyland ground and he will want some first-team members that need match time in there. Yet, it is by no means a certainty that Holden will feature. Speaking in the aforementioned Bolton News, Dougie shared his thoughts on Holden's progress:

"We do need to manage it right. He obviously needs to be in the right place with training and maybe we need to put him in there with one or two players who need games.

"He's been around the training ground for a little while now and off the pitch he has been very enthusiastic and bubbly, which has been nice to get on the training ground as well.

Dougie also mentioned his high hopes for Holden's involvement in the near future, hoping that he can build on recent results:

"But I must say that the lads have really bought into what we are trying to do. That is starting to come across now on a Saturday and I saw little glimpses of what I want even though the result wasn't there against Ipswich.

"That makes me feel we're on the right path. A few days earlier, we had put the performance and the result together against Blackburn and hopefully, Stuart can add to that."

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Brief video on Stu Holden's training return

Who doesn't love watching Stuart Holden do his thing with a football? A new video posted on Bolton's official Facebook account posted a video of Dougie Freedman discussing Holden's full training return.

It's a very brief look at the midfield dynamo but a look nonetheless. The quotes are those from the manager's prematch press conference, which can again be found below the video.

"Stuart has been training one day on one day off which is great. The problem we have, and I do stress this to everyone, is that Stuart has been out for a long time and there will be absolutely no rush from the coaches' point of view.

"He is training with us on every second day. He is looking nice and fit and his sharpness will come. He is such an enthusiastic lad and he is great to have around. I have tried to encourage Stuart to get around the place which is good for us.

"But we are still a couple months away from seeing Stuart, let's not kid ourselves, but we are looking forward to that."

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Freedman offers reaction to Holden training return

Surely you've heard the news by now. Oh. You haven't? The one and only Stu Holden has returned to full training! It's good news for sure but do keep in mind that there's a very long road for the central midfielder left to travel. For one, he's not training every day yet, going through full training every other day. Still it's a massive step forward.

Manager Dougie Freedman confirmed the good news at his pre-Huddersfield Town press conference earlier today and shared some thoughts on the situation:

"Stuart has been training one day on one day off which is great. The problem we have, and I do stress this to everyone, is that Stuart has been out for a long time and there will be absolutely no rush from the coaches' point of view.

"He is training with us on every second day. He is looking nice and fit and his sharpness will come. He is such an enthusiastic lad and he is great to have around. I have tried to encourage Stuart to get around the place which is good for us.

"But we are still a couple months away from seeing Stuart, let's not kid ourselves, but we are looking forward to that."

The news has been a major boost to fans on Twitter who are absolutely salivating at the thought of Holden in a white shirt again. All in due course, though.

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