AMSTERDAM – Recovering Bolton ace Stuart Holden has made a long-awaited return to first-team training, but the team is proceding with caution by starting him on an every-other-day schedule.
The club expects that the 27-year-old will require some time with the second team before fully completing his return into the side. Holden, the 2010-11 Bolton Player of the Year, is still likely a couple of months in total from suiting up in Championship play for Wanderers.
"The reserves' next match is Dec. 17 against Bury," a club spokesman told MLSsoccer.com on Thursday. "I don't know if that will come too soon for him."
The US international has not played for Bolton since September of last year, a one-off appearance that served as his failed comeback from the knee cartilage injury originally suffered six months earlier in a Premier League contest against Manchester United.
On Thursday, manager Dougie Freedman spoke to reporters about the plan for the midfielder's full return.
"Stuart has been out for a long time and there will be absolutely no rush from the coaches’ point of view," he stated. "He is training with us on every second day. He is looking nice and fit and his sharpness will come. He is such an enthusiastic lad and he is great to have around.
"But we are still a couple months away from seeing Stuart, let’s not kid ourselves. But we are looking forward to that."