The bad news keeps on coming for Stuart Holden, who was diagnosed with a torn ACL on Monday. Holden hurt his knee early on Sunday's Gold Cup final when he took an awkward step and his knee appeared to buckle. He fell to the ground and was treated before being taken to the bench, where he was seeing crying.
There is no timeline for Holden's recovery yet. In a statement released by Bolton Wanderers, the club doctor said they will have more information on his recovery and return in the next 10 days after the swelling goes down.
"We've got the scans and the results will be analyzed by our specialists. We can then put an action plan in place over the next week to ten days when the initial swelling reduces."
This is the third major injury for Holden, who had his leg broken by Nigel de Jong in 2010 and his left knee injured by Jonny Evans in 2011. The second injury also came with many complications, which kept him out until just a few months ago. The Gold Cup was supposed to be Holden's first chance to work himself back into form and show himself after the injury, but instead it marked the beginning of another long, arduous journey to full health.
Holden stayed around for the United States' celebration after winning the Gold Cup, and was carried around the field on the back of Omar Gonzalez, but post-game comments by Jurgen Klinsmann hinted at the worst.
"We are very concerned about Stuart's situation," said Klinsmann. "It looks like a very serious injury."
Holden had a MRI on Monday, which confirmed the tear. Now there are questions about whether Holden will ever play at a high level again.
The midfielder will be 28 years old on August 1 and ACL tears often take a year to recover from. If that timeline holds, Holden will be 29 years old when he next tries to play and will have a grand total of six matches since March of 2011. Besides the fact that he is all but ruled out of the 2014 World Cup, and most likely any World Cup for that matter since he will be on the verge of his 33rd birthday when the 2018 World Cup rolls around, it could mark the end of a once-promising career that has been sidetracked time and time again by misfortune.
In addition to his three major leg injuries, a 20-year-old Holden was attacked outside of a bar in Newcastle that left him with a fractured eye socket. When he returned from that injury, he hurt his ankle was was ruled out for the remainder of the season, ending his stint with Sunderland. Whether it has been a bad tackle, a bad step or a lunatic taking umbrage with the fact that he plays for a rival club, Holden has ended up on the trainer's table time and time again.
Holden has managed to stay positive and return from each of his injuries so far, even if just for a short time before being injured again. That's something he'll be tasked with one more time after his latest injury, but at this point, one has to wonder if Holden will ever make it back.