[USA MEN]U.S. head coach Jurgen Klinsmann confirmed that Stuart Holden, who has been absent from the national team for more than two years because of knee injuries, will be recalled for the May-June camp that will be followed by five international matches and for the Gold Cup in July.
“We’ve been in touch with Stuart throughout this whole injury period,” Klinsmann told USSoccer.com. “The last couple of months have given us a lot of positive signals. I spoke to his coach at Bolton, and spoke to his coach at Sheffield Wednesday where he played some very important minutes and games while on loan. He’s on his way back. That being said, we want to have him back in our picture. We are going to bring him for the May-June camp, and also for the Gold Cup.”
Klinsmann said Holden had recently expressed a willingness to get action with the national team whenever he could, even if it meant he'd forgo a summer break with Bolton, which is currently in a battle to enter the English League Championship promotion playoffs.
He finally returned to league action two years after suffering a knee injury from a red-card foul by Manchester United's Jonny Evans in the English Premier League. The comeback began with a loan spell to relegation-threatened Sheffield Wednesday -- where he made four starts -- and he came on as a late sub for Bolton after his return from the one-month loan.
Holden's initial comeback in October 2011 was short-lived after it was determined he needed more work on his knee.
“We have the backing from his club [Bolton] that we can play him through the summer,” Klinsmann said. “He knows there won’t be big vacation time, and he said, ‘I don’t want vacation anymore. I had one and a half years off!’ So that’s exciting news for us, having him back in the group and seeing him and evaluating where he’s at, and helping him become the old Stuart Holden, and even better because he’s still so young.”
Klinsmann views Holden as a role model for his U.S. teammates and others.
“He’s a tremendous character,” continued Klinsmann. “He’s a positive thinker. He’s a giver, and you need givers on your team. When you go toward the World Cup, you always need to look out for people who are able to suffer and be there for their teammates. Stuart is a role model in that. At the end of the day, it still depends on how good he is and how strong he comes back, and we are excited to see how he does.”
Holden's English Career:
GP/G TEAM (LEAGUE) YEAR
0/0 Sunderland (EPL) 2005-06
2/0 Bolton Wanderers (EPL) 2009-10
26/2 Bolton Wanderers(EPL) 2010-11
0/0 Bolton Wanderers (LC) 2011-12
2/0 Bolton Wanderers (LC) 2012-13
4/0 Sheffield Wednesday (LC) 2012-13
Stuart Holden's Comeback Story: