American Exports: Stuart Holden leaves Bolton reserve match early following injury setback

Stuart Holden in his Bolton return

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AMSTERDAM – The road to recovery for Bolton's Stuart Holden has become rocky once again, with the hard-luck midfield ace removed near the half hour in his latest reserve comeback on Monday night.

The US international was making his first competitive appearance since suffering an anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injury to his right knee in last summer's CONCACAF Gold Cup final victory. It was to be a short night, however, as Holden departed on 27 minutes after clutching the back of that same knee for the second time.

In the 20th minute, Holden made his first such gesture after spraying an outlet pass to the flank. He was quickly back to action, but went to ground just six minutes later holding his knee a second time after lunging for the ball.

According to Bolton's official Twitter account, Holden did jog off the pitch and down the tunnel without any assistance. When contacted by MLSsoccer.com, the club was still waiting for an update on the midfielder. 

Holden, Wanderers' 2010-11 Player of the Season, has been limited to just four first-team appearances since claiming the award due to repeated knee setbacks.

The fan favorite has suffered several unfortunate injuries over the years, including one to his left knee courtesy of a reckless tackle by Manchester United defender Jonny Evans back in March of 2011, a broken right fibula from Netherlands midfielder Nigel de Jong's nasty friendly challenge the year before and a March 2005 nightclub attack that effectively ended his time with Sunderland.