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By DAN ITEL
It appears the oft-injured, yet highly popular Stuart Holden will remain with the Bolton Wanderers for another season.
A report in The Bolton News indicates that the U.S. Men’s National Team midfielder will be offered a new contract through the 2014/2015 season with Bolton despite having suffered a trio of major injuries that have sidelined him for a majority of the past four years.
His contract with Bolton, where he has been since 2010 after leaving the Houston Dynamo, was set to expire at the end of the current EPL season. Bolton manager Dougie Freedman said he there is no rush to get Holden back on the field, hinting he may not have been ready to return last summer.
“Clearly, when he came back last year he wasn’t right,” Freedman said. “Hopefully, it is a lot different this time. He has spent a lot of time in America with the surgeon that did the operation, he has completely changed his running style, which I am told could have prevented the last problem.
“He is in a completely different mindset to where he was last time. Therefore, I am not going to rush this through. I want to make sure when he comes back he will be ready for the future.”
The original version of the Bolton News article on Holden’s contract situation stated that he was receiving a new contract, but a revised version of the story changed to state that an agreement is in place to keep Holden with Bolton through next season.
His latest injury came when he suffered an anterior cruciate ligament tear in the USMNT Gold Cup final victory against Panama last July. It was another major setback for the talented 28-year-old after a two-year road to recovery following another major knee injury against Manchester United in 2011.
Holden returned to light-duty training over the weekend with Bolton and is expected to ramp up the intensity over the coming days, the report said.
Holden made waves last month when he made a surprise guest training appearance with the USMNT during their January camp, his first training of any kind since the latest injury.
Freedman went on to say in the article that he was surprised at Holden’s talent level when he made his debut in 2010 but isn’t sure what to expect with his return.
“You can’t take what he was doing two or three years ago and expect him to walk straight back and do that again,” Freedman said. “You will put too much pressure on the guy.
“We all want him back and we are all frustrated. But you won’t see me making a call which puts the rest of Stuart’s career for the next seven or eight years in jeopardy because we need him tomorrow.”