Feb 12, 2014, 1:14 PM EDT
Stu Holden has been through the ringer since he joined Bolton Wanderers, but his club is not giving up on him. Moreover, they’re doubling down on the crafty 28-year-old American.
Holden’s been told he’ll get a new deal this summer when his old contract runs out, according a weekend report from The Bolton News. Bolton manager Dougie Freedman wants to keep him around and they are not pressing him to play this season, though the player would like to make his return before the end of the year.
And Freedman has some interesting news for the many American supporters still pulling for Holden , a sympathetic figure if there ever was one. After admitting that Holden probably came back too soon from his lasy injury, he 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 Wanderers have been nearly as patient as Holden, but for good reason. The midfielder has impressed Freedman with his leadership, energy and drive, something he wishes he had now for the crunch period of the Championship schedule (with Bolton just five points ahead of the drop zone).
He tore his ACL against Panama this summer in the Gold Cup final against Panama, just the latest in a devastating run of pain for the Bolton man.
In 2010, Nigel De Jong plied his usual tackling trade to break Holden’s leg in a friendly between the U.S. and Holland.
In 2011, his femur fell victim to Johnny Evans studs-up tackle, costing him six months of his career. He returned so briefly before they discovered cartilage damage, putting him out another six months as he watched Bolton get relegated to the Championship.
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