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American Exports: Holden won't return this season

Stuart Holden returned to the Bolton lineup

Photo Credit: 
Getty Images

AMSTERDAM — Bolton manager Owen Coyle has ruled out an injury return from midfield ace Stuart Holden for this season, but says he's brought back the clubhouse favorite to enhance the team's EPL survival drive.

Apart from a fateful 90-minute shift in a Carling Cup win over Aston Villa last September, Holden has been out with a knee injury sustained at Manchester United a little more than a year ago.

"The biggest single thing is that we want him back on the pitch wearing the Bolton strip because he is such an influential player for us and we have missed him, but he won't be fit for this season," Coyle told reporters at the prematch press conference for Saturday's visit from Fulham.

However, the US international is back at the Reebok to lend support with the club a mere point over the trap door.

"We let Stuart go to the US to do a lot of his rehab over there," Coyle said. "He is such a bubbly and infectious character, and so it's certainly good to have players like that in your group. Stuart certainly adds to what we have got in terms of team spirit, which is great."

The Wanderers boss also attempted to scare off any clubs pondering a summer swoop for either Holden or recovering winger Lee Chung-Yong.

"The most important thing for those two players is that we have them fit and ready for next season," he said. "To buy those players it would cost you £10 million to £15 million, such is their quality."