For the last however many months (seems closer to forever now), Stu has been rehabilitating his knee Stateside with the United States Mens National Team head physio in hopes of returning stronger and better than ever. After having been in Delaware just about continuously since last April, Holden is ready to come back to Bolton.
It seems like all is going according to plan in Stu's recovery as the target date for him to return to the club was in mid-to-late October. He is flying back to Bolton this week to continue his rehabilitation program at the Euxton training ground. He is, however, some way off from making a full first team return. Both Holden and the club are determined not to rush things and bring him back when both parties feel the time is right.
For many American fans, the story of Stuart so far is very similar to that of John O'Brien, but all parties involved hope that the outcome is a much different one. For those unaware,f former US Men's National Team player John O'Brien started his career coming through the Ajax youth ranks and plying his trade with the Dutch giants for seven years. O'Brien looked like the next big thing for the Yanks but a series of injuries never allowed him to shine and forced him into early retirement.
Owen Coyle signed Stuart Holden after having him on trial at Burnley before taking him to Bolton following his switch after Gary Megson's firing. Speaking this weekend, after his own sacking, Coyle shared a few thoughts on Holden:
"Stuart was irreplaceable. We had many gifted players at the club but he was the complete midfielder. Some can run, some can pass, some can tackle. He has the lot."
Coyle insinuated that missing Stuart in midfield was what led to Bolton's dramatic fall from grace over the last 19 months. We wrote about that at length here.