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U.S. international Stuart Holden back on the field for Bolton

Jan 8, 2013, 6:15 PM EDT

Holden-Bolton 2

You can barely get through a conversation about the U.S. national team’s midfield – a bit of a mystery right now that could go either way once you get past Michael Bradley – without someone talking about what things might look like with Stuart Holden.

Which is all well and good – except that Holden hasn’t played a second in the national team shirt since 2010.

Clearly, everyone feels badly for the guy, and everyone wants to see him get back on the field. Not just for the national team, by the way, and for the way he could probably add some offensive drive into the midfield, but just because. Holden has remained so reliably positive through two-plus years of injury, and even national team manager Jurgen Klinsmann himself has been known to bring up Holden and say encouraging, hopeful things.

Which is all why this is such wonderful news.

Holden played 65 minutes of a reserve match for Bolton today. It was a 3-0 win over Oldham … not that it matters.

Next step, obviously, is to assess how Holden came through.

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