United States men's national team midfielder Stuart Holden has been diagnosed with a torn anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) in his right knee following an MRI evaluation in Chicago after USA's 1-0 Gold Cup final victory over Panama.
Holden, who was sidelined for more than two years after previous injuries to his right knee, took a knock on his left knee about 20 minutes into the first half during , but grabbed his right knee after he hit the ground. Trainers worked with him on and off the field. As Holden sat on the bench, his head buried in his hands, teammates patted him on the head and shoulders trying to console him.
"We are absolutely devastated for Stuart," said United States manager Jurgen Klinsmann in a statement. "He is such a great part of our team on the field and the locker room. He worked tremendously hard to recover from previous injuries and had really come back into form. He was fully prepared to head back to Bolton and challenge for a starting spot. Now he will have our full support as he goes down this road again, and we will be with him every step of the way."
He walked to the locker room a short time later, and was limping visibly when he rejoined his teammates for the victory ceremony. Holden initially injured his right knee against Manchester United on March 19, 2011. He returned from surgery to play in a League Cup match that September, then had a second surgery on his left knee eight days later. He did not return to Bolton until this Jan. 15, and did not rejoin the Americans until their May camp.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.