Sky Bet Championship: Bolton midfielder Stuart Holden confident of return
Last Updated: 18/03/14 5:07pm
Injured Bolton midfielder Stuart Holden says he has no doubts over his ability to play again next season.
The United States international, 28, last week underwent surgery on a fourth serious knee injury in the past three years and after a comeback which lasted only 23 minutes earlier this month, he may not play again until 2015.
Some have queried whether he will play again at all after a succession of knee problems which first surfaced following a challenge from Manchester United defender Jonny Evans in March 2011.
However, speaking to US podcast Soccer Morning from his current base in California, Holden reiterated his determination to play professional football once again.
"I'm just getting on the mend," he said. "The first part's pretty slow, I'm on crutches for another week - once I'm off those it starts flying by.
"I'm just ready to get back on the horse. It was obviously a setback, disappointing for me personally and a lot of emotions were flying around, but I'm well and truly feeling like I'm ready to do this thing again."
Wanderers boss Dougie Freedman was full of praise for Holden's positive outlook on life recently and that is why, despite his contract at the Reebok Stadium running out this summer, the Sky Bet Championship club will not turn their back on the midfielder.
I'm just ready to get back on the horse. It was obviously a setback, disappointing for me personally and a lot of emotions were flying around, but I'm well and truly feeling like I'm ready to do this thing again.
Asked how he manages to maintain such an upbeat stance, Holden added: "It's frustrating when you keep asking yourself, 'why is it big injury after big injury?' (But) I continue to fight, I'm a warrior. That's my mentality.
"I won't give up because I know I have a lot left to give the game. I know my work-ethic, my mentality - that will all get me there again. I'm fully confident in my medical team where I'll be playing again with no problems."
His latest setback came in a Bolton reserves game when he came off after clutching his knee with nobody around him. However, given all of his problems can be traced back to that afternoon when Evans was sent off for lunging into his knee, Holden could perhaps be forgiven for holding a grudge.
"It's more frustrating than anything," he countered.
"It's easy to harbour those feelings and think 'what if' and 'why did he do that' and be angry and upset and those are all natural. I have definitely felt those in the last few years - particularly when I've suffered setbacks - but I've learned in my life not to dwell on those things. Nothing can change them so why be the angry man curled up in the corner?"