Stuart Holden's path back to playing soccer again will include some training with the United States. The midfielder who has battled a slew of injuries for years is practicing with the team at January training camp and while he will not play in either of the Americans' upcoming friendlies, he is a participant in training after Jurgen Klinsmann invited him as a guest.
Holden suffered a broken femur in March 2011 on a tackle from Jonny Evans. That set off a string of injury problems. Microfracture surgery followed that original injury and then he tore his ACL while playing for the U.S. at the 2013 Gold Cup. A return in March 2014 was cut short when he reinjured that knee during a reserve match for Bolton and he has not played since.
Despite so many setbacks, Holden has maintained that he will return to the sport and play again. He has been in rehab as he seeks to recover from his injuries and has spent the winter working out with a group of MLS players.
There was a time when Holden was one of the United States' most promising players. He was in terrific form for Bolton and starring in the Premier League. He had found his footing in one of the world's best leagues and several bigger clubs were interested in him. Holden was the technical, smart passer who could control tempo through the center of the pitch that the U.S. had been searching for. Then, injuries essentially ruined the last four years.
Holden is still a long ways from playing for the U.S. again. This is simply training as part of rehab. He's not even close to being an international, seeing as its unclear whether he's even close to playing professionally for a club right now. At 30 years old, his international career is probably never going to be revived again. But it would be great to see him play again, even if not for the U.S., and at least get a reward for the incredible amount of hard work he's put in rehabbing from his various injuries ever since the Evans tackle in 2011.