USA and Bolton Midfielder Stuart Holden Returns to Club for Final Rehab Stretch

Christopher HallAnalyst IApril 4, 2012

BIRMINGHAM, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 20:  Stuart Holden of Bolton Wanderers during the Carling Cup third round match between Aston Villa and Bolton Wanderers at Villa Park on September 20, 2011 in Birmingham, England.  (Photo by Michael Steele/Getty Images)
Michael Steele/Getty Images

United States and Bolton midfielder Stuart Holden returned to his club last weekend to begin the final stages of his rehabilitation.

After two rehab stretches spanning almost a year, Holden is excited to be back. He told Bolton's official website:

It's been great to be able to work hard and isolate myself but at the same time I have missed being around the guys.

It's nice to be back in all the banter and it has put a smile on my face. I've been able to draw more enthusiasm to get through this last part of my rehab.

I've been working five days a week, doing two sessions a day which have each lasted for three hours. I've been doing that for almost three months now whilst I was over in Delaware.

Rehab work is a funny thing because it happens in fits and spurts. There are times when it might feel monotonous and boring and there have been times when I've been pulling my hair out because I've wanted to do more. But I'm trying to give myself the best chance to heal properly and get back to 100 percent.

Bolton fans will be anxious to know when Holden can return to the field. The club has struggled mightily during an injury-ravaged season and currently sits just one point clear of the relegation zone. Holden unfortunately doesn't have a clear answer yet.

A lot of people have asked when I'm going to be back playing and I don't have a definitive answer. I'm not really worried about that because my focus is all about making sure I'm fully fit once I do get back on the pitch.

Holden was originally injured in March 2011 in a horrific tackle from Manchester United's Jonny Evans. Six months of rehab saw him return to the field for just a single game before a follow-up exam revealed a cartilage tear in the same knee.

Six more months of rehab.

Despite the persistent set-backs, the optimistic American is eagerly anticipating a more permanent return to action. While he waits to step onto the pitch as a player, he is excited to get back into the friendly confines of Wanderers home stadium.

I'm looking forward to experiencing the Reebok again this weekend. I saw the atmosphere on the television for the Blackburn game and it was special - even though I was in America I still got chills and could sense it. Speaking to the guys as well, they say it's the best they have ever known.

I hope the support continues in that way and the fans get behind the lads against Fulham. You see the way everyone has rallied behind the team and we have won three in three.

Bolton will continue their fight against relegation when they host Fulham on Sunday.