Holden on the comeback trail

United States international out to reclaim his best form

Holden: On his way back after five months out injured with knee injury

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Bolton midfielder Stuart Holden has taken a step closer to making his first-team comeback after five months out with a knee injury.

The Trotters' Player of the Year played 78 minutes for the reserves in a 7-0 thrashing by Fulham but, far from being downbeat, he was thrilled to be back playing.

Holden, 26, is now targeting another run-out for the second string against Rochdale next week as he steps up his quest for full fitness.

"On a personal note it was amazing for me to get out there and get back into the swing of things. To come through 78 minutes of action unscathed with my knee feeling good is a real step forward."

Stuart Holden

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Achieved

"I've set goals and I've achieved them along the way," he told the club's official website.

"This was another one of those goals, playing in a reserve game and I can't tell you how good it felt to be out there kicking a football, running around and tackling other players.

"On a personal note it was amazing for me to get out there and get back into the swing of things. To come through 78 minutes of action unscathed with my knee feeling good is a real step forward."

He added: "I obviously wasn't going to be as sharp as I was five months ago. I felt prior to my injury at Old Trafford I had played the best football of my career.

"It's going to take a little bit of time fitness-wise, but I'm not too far off."