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Stuart Holden leaves Gold Cup final with apparent right knee injury

Jul 28, 2013, 4:51 PM EDT

Holden of the U.S. moves the ball away from Honduras' Lopez during their CONCACAF Gold Cup soccer match in Arlington Reuters

If you asked U.S. Soccer fans before the match for a worst case scenario, and this might have been it. I suspect most would rather their team lose the final of a “down” Gold Cup than see Stuart Holden leave Solider Field early with another potential knee injury.

It isn’t all gloom and doom quite yet. After going to ground in the 20th minute, Holden left the field under his own power, was briefly examined on the sideline, then gave way to Mikkel Diskerud. After a moment on the bench with his head in his hands, Holden was on his way to the locker room, undoubtedly to undergo a more detailed examination on his right knee.

This had every look of a precautionary measure, but with Holden’s injury history, nobody would be wrong to think the worst. Since suffering a left knee injury on March 19, 2011, Holden’s only played five games for his club (Bolton Wanderers), undergoing two major surgeries in that time. His health has been a major talking point throughout the tournament, with fans still harboring concerns for a player who’s become a favorite.

Those concerns will be heightened after Holden’s early exit in Chicago, an exit that came after Holden collided with Panama’s Alberto Quintero. Though today’s possible injury occurred to Holden’s right, non-repaired knee, fans concern is unlikely to be alleviated in the face of new, bad luck.

Holden immediately want to ground and grabbed the surgically repaired joint. When trainers reached him on the field, they immediately started testing the knee’s stability, the kind of prodding to the sides of the leg that you usually see when somebody suspects a ligament problem.

After a few moments’ examination on the sideline, Holden flopped flat on his back, arms outstretched in concession. His day was over.

Now Holden and U.S. Soccer fans play a waiting game. From almost all indications we saw from the field, this could merely be a hyper-cautious move in consideration of Holden’s injury history. But perhaps the most important indication — the fact that Holden couldn’t continue — means there’s reason to worry.

  1. creek0512 - Jul 28, 2013 at 6:50 PM

    I think most fans would rather win.

  2. docstraw - Jul 28, 2013 at 7:38 PM

    This article has it wrong. Johnny Evans wrecked stu’s left knee. It looked like he suffered a non contact injury to his good right knee today. Seemed like a fairly normal step he took trying to get to the ball. Those non contact ones always seem to end up being the worst. Fingers crossed that it is just a tweak.

    • Richard Farley - Jul 28, 2013 at 7:41 PM

      “The US international was stretchered off in the 1-0 defeat at Old Trafford after suffering a serious gash on his right knee in a challenge with Jonny Evans.”

      At the same time, it’s good to be checked on these things every once in a while.

      • Richard Farley - Jul 28, 2013 at 9:18 PM

        docstraw: Thanks for this comment. Even after the link, above, I was told by another person that some outlets reported it wrong, so i went and watched the video, and you’re absolutely right. Thank you! I’m correcting the story now.

  3. seanb20124 - Jul 28, 2013 at 8:02 PM

    Sprained knee on Sunday is torn ACLU on Monday. Get well Stu

    • handsofsweed - Jul 28, 2013 at 9:16 PM

      Why get the ACLU involved? I didn’t see any evidence of ligamental profiling on the play.

  4. hildezero - Jul 28, 2013 at 10:55 PM

    This sucks! I hope he gets well quick.

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