1813_holdenstuart_isi_bpi_birmcityvboltwand.d05t Joe Toth/isiphotos.com
Injury report

Welcome Back Stuart Holden. Now What?

The former (and future?) United States midfielder is nearly back on the field for the Bolton Wanderers. But what can we expect from the creative player after so long away from the game?

BY Noah Davis Posted
January 08, 2013
6:05 AM
After 18 months on the mend, Stuart Holden will play in a reserve match for the Bolton Wanderers against Oldham Tuesday night. It's been a shockingly long road back for 27-year-old, injury-prone midfielder, but he seems like he's almost ready to return to the Wanderers first team.

Cause, of course, for celebration.

Now stop and temper those expectations. He won't be getting back to the United States national team any time soon. Nor should he be. Holden's first, second, and third goals will be to become a regular for struggling Bolton, a club currently mired in 16th in the Championship. That accomplishment would be impressive considering how much time he has missed.

Holden, right now, is not nearly the player he was when he looked to be a key part of the U.S. midfield and the Bolton Player of the Year in 2010-2011. He certainly can get back to that level but give him time to work his way back. The waiting game is a lot more fun when you can at least watch him play for club. Country will be there if and when he's ready.

A prediction: Holden makes the Gold Cup roster, looks good, and figures in fall USMNT qualification matches. And if it all goes horribly wrong (again), we know he'll have a career in television.

UPDATE:

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