Bolton midfielder Stuart Holden, who in Saturday’s 2-1 defeat to Everton made his first home appearance in nearly two years, is out of contract at the end of the season, but Bolton coach Dougie Freedman says a new contract is the least of the USA international’s concerns right now.
“He has gone through a career-threatening major knee operation so that's far from his thinking,” Freedman said. “Just getting back playing football is a delight for him.” He added: "I don't think he needs that sort of pressure from me to sign, or not to sign, a contract. I think he needs all the support he can get to play football. Let's strip it all down and remember the days when he used to play in the streets."
In March 2011, Holden tore his ACL in a challenge with Manchester United’s Jonny Evans. He made just one appearance against Aston Villa in September 2011 before requiring further surgery.
"With this injury I just want to get back playing every week and I've got a job on my hands to get back into the team,” Holden said when asked about his contract situation. "My first and foremost thought is just to be back playing week in week out for Bolton and just having that feeling of playing 90 minutes and winning games and coming off the next day feeling like I’ve played a game. I’m so close to that now that I don’t want to let anything distract me."