For our latest coverage of, as Chris dubbed it, THE RETURN OF THE KING, we get to hear from the great man himself. In case you've been in some sort of cave or something, Stuart Holden completed 60 minutes for the reserve side, and there was much rejoicing. We've already heard from Dougie Freedman on the merry occasion, and now it's Stu's turn. It was great. I felt good, sharp and fit. It was good to put some tackles in, to get on the ball and to be playing in a real game. I now feel that I am getting closer to making my return to the first team.
After the match Stu said,
It has been a long road but it is one in which I have maintained perspective and I have been taking it at the right pace. It is now important that I don't get carried away at this late stage. But as far as how my knee felt and how I felt out there, I think I can come away from that feeling really good about it all and now I need to do the proper things during the recovery and prepare myself for the next game.
As far as return to the first team is concerned, obviously he's not rushing into it,
If all goes well from this then I don't anticipate any reaction and I can now take the next step. That will be playing a bit longer and then I think I will be ready to roll with the full 90 minutes. I am very close now. I have worked so hard to get to this stage and I don't want to do anything now to mess that up.
He also had some words on the new manager that he came back to,
The manager said that I had done well after the game. He has been very encouraging and understanding about the situation since he got here. I am very thankful for that and he doesn't put any pressure on me to rush back. We have all got the long-term goal in mind. Training has been great. It has been so intense and it has been nice to learn the manager's perspective of the game. He was a good player in his time and he has got a lot to teach and I am willing to listen and learn to make myself a better player.
Stu has had some incredibly rough luck as far as injuries are concerned. It takes a very strong person, mentally and physically, to constantly bounce back after so many set backs, to put in the hours of solo work required. It is so fantastic to see that hard work paying off. And on that note, even if you couldn't make it to Leyland, you can see Stu in action as the club as posted some highlights. It's like Christmas all over!