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Page last updated at 11:38 GMT, Monday, 21 March 2011

Bolton midfielder Stuart Holden out for six months

Bolton midfielder Stuart Holden
United States international Holden also broke his leg last year

Bolton midfielder Stuart Holden is expected to be sidelined for six months after sustaining a knee injury at Manchester United on Saturday.

United defender Jonny Evans was sent off for the tackle on Holden during the Red Devils' 1-0 victory.

Holden, 25, had 26 stitches in the wound and stated that he would have surgery in London on Monday.

"I can promise you all I will come back stronger and better than before," he said on social networking site Twitter.

"I have had bad luck in the past and will continue to beat it."

He also revealed on his Twitter account that he had received a "sincere" phone call from Evans, who wished him well on his recovery.

The injury rules the United States international out of Bolton's FA Cup semi-final against Stoke on 17 April.

And the bad news comes just over a year after Holden suffered a broken leg while playing for his country in a friendly against the Netherlands.

On that occasion he was ruled out for six weeks with a broken right fibula, an injury sustained in a challenge with Manchester City's Nigel de Jong.

But since his return from injury Holden has been widely regarded as one of Bolton's best players and has helped them to seventh place in the Premier League.

"First and foremost, our main concern is Stuart and his recovery," said Bolton manager Owen Coyle.

"He will get all the time and support he needs. Stuart has been outstanding this season and has shown he is one of the best midfielders in the Premier League.

"He has such desire, strength of character and a winning mentality and he will draw on those attributes in his rehabilitation."

Former Bolton player Alan Gowling told BBC Radio Manchester that Holden's injury was a huge blow to both player and club.

"He's a key man in that midfield and, for me, when he was injured earlier in the season, Bolton went off the boil a little bit," said Gowling.

"It was when Stuart returned that Bolton's game seemed to pick up, so I think he'll be a big miss.

"For me he's the jewel in Bolton's crown, he's an excellent player, he's got a great future and obviously it will be a blow in the short term, and they will be looking for someone like Mark Davies to take on the role."

Holden joined Bolton in January 2010 from Major League Soccer club Houston Dynamo and signed a contract extension in September that is set to keep him at the Trotters until 2013.

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see also
Ferguson hails United 'character'
19 Mar 11 |  Man Utd
Man Utd 1-0 Bolton
19 Mar 11 |  Premier League
Holden signs extended Bolton deal
30 Sep 10 |  Bolton
Bolton seal Weiss & Holden deals
26 Jan 10 |  Bolton

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