Stuart Holden returns from injury, makes Bolton's FA Cup squad

Chris Brunskill

Stuart Holden has been included in Bolton's team for their FA Cup replay vs. Sunderland.

Remember Stuart Holden? The well-coiffed midfielder, who has been seemingly glued to the training tabe for the last decade, is finally back, healthy, and will be in the Bolton squad when they play Sunderland on Tuesday in a FA Cup replay.

Holden is now 27 years old (seriously, when did that happen?) and hasn't been fully fit in 22 months. He played 65 minutes in a reserve match last week where he drew praise, which matched the good reports from his work in training, and is now ready to complete his comeback. Whether he plays against Sunderland, or his return is put off to the weekend is unclear, but he is finally back.

It is tough to expect much of Holden at this point, but the United States could sure use a midfielder able to move the ball the way he can. At his best, he moves the ball quickly, and gives the Americans a midfielder besides Michael Bradley who can help transition with pace. That is vital to a team that often leans on Bradley to move the ball from deep and then get forward to contribute in the final third, which is a lot to ask from any player, even your best one.

Bolton could sure use him too, now that they are down in the Championship and just eight points clear of the drop zone. Not much has gone right for them since Holden's injury and while they didn't tumble out of the Premier League because of his absence, it certainly didn't help.

So what is next for Holden? Just getting on the pitch and staying fit is priority number one. If he can do that then maybe the national team becomes a possibility again. In the meantime, enjoy that immaculate haired no-longer-boy on the pitch again.

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