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Reserve return for Stu Holden could be Christmas gift for Wanderers, USMNT fans

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."