CARSON, Calif. (AP) – Bolton midfielder Stuart Holden is training with the United States men's national team for the first time since tearing his right anterior cruciate ligament during the final of the CONCACAF Gold Cup last July 28.
Holden was in the Los Angeles area to be evaluated by Dr. Bert Mandelbaum, who operated last summer. The 28-year-old participated with the U.S. team during Tuesday's training sessions, then did fitness exercises and ball work on his own.
Holden will remain with the Americans until Saturday, when they play an exhibition game against South Korea. He then will return to Bolton and says he hopes to play for the club's reserves by late February.
Holden has had a series of injuries during the last four years. He broke his right leg on a tackle by the Netherlands' Nigel de Jong during an exhibition game in March 2010 but returned to make the U.S. World Cup team, where he appeared as a late substitute in the Americans' opener against England.
He injured his left knee against Manchester United during a tackle by Jonny Evans in March 2011, returned from surgery for a League Cup match against Aston Villa that September, then needed more surgery eight days later.
Holden came back again in January 2013 to make three substitute appearances for Bolton, four starts during a one-month loan to Sheffield Wednesday and another short substitute stint for Bolton.
He returned to the national team as a substitute in an exhibition against Belgium on May 29, then played extensively in the Gold Cup before getting hurt again.