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Stu Holden sees extended time in closed-door match

Kevork Djansezian

It's a brilliant way to start the day for Bolton and United States Men's National Team fans. Stu Holden has a very real return date in his sights and has made a huge step towards a first team return.

The American midfielder was due to play in a U21s match against Bury earlier this month but weather and a waterlogged pitch made sure that wouldn't happen. With no other reserves games in sight, Bolton's training staff set up a closed-door match against Wigan for Holden and he completed a very positive 60 minutes.

Speaking in his prematch press conference (via the Bolton News), Dougie Freedman elaborated on Holden's progress:

"We could have played a Premier League development squad today but it is hard because of sides playing so many games at this time of year and young players not being around.

"We had an indoor game last week against Wigan in which Stuart played 60- 70 minutes. He played very well and came through it.

"He probably needs another two or three behind-closeddoors games but hopefully he will be ready by the middle of January.

"It is difficult but we are doing our best to squeeze games in.

"The plan is that he is back by the end of the month and then I don't have to go and get a central midfielder in."

The news is a big boost to Bolton fans and the team alike as the Trotters are due to get Stu Holden, Mark Davies, and David Wheater back in the next couple of months. The returns should alleviate a number of the issues that the Trotters are currently having.