Stuart Holden Close to Full-Fitness

Football - Holland v United States of America International Friendly

In an interview with mlssoccer.com, Stuart Holden, out since March with a broken leg, has revealed that he could play for his club, Bolton Wanderers, as soon as this weekend.  The Scottish-born midfielder sustained his injury in a US friendly against the Netherlands.

Holden’s versatility – he can play center or right midfield – and spot-on free kicks make him a valuable asset.  If he’s healthy enough to play in the World Cup (and Holden certainly appears to be on track), he would likely be the first outside midfielder off the bench.  And, assuming striker Charlie Davies isn’t back, Holden could even step into the first XI, with Clint Dempsey or Landon Donovan moving up top.

Stuart still has to show US manager Bob Bradley that he’s ready, and playing in Bolton’s final two matches of the season would take care of that.  However, Bolton, currently 14th in the English Premier League, are neither fighting relegation nor competing for a place in European competition and may choose to not risk aggravating the injury.  While that would put a damper on Stuart’s World Cup chances, if Bradley puts him on the preliminary World Cup roster, three US friendlies in late May and early June (Czech Republic, Turkey, and Australia) would give Holden a few chances to prove he can contribute in South Africa.

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