Stuart Holden weighing up comeback amid Houston Dynamo interest

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The ex-Bolton Wanderers midfielder has been invited to join his former MLS club for pre-season after recovering from a series of major knee injuries.

Former US international Stuart Holden has revealed to Vice Sports that he has a standing invitation to re-join the Houston Dynamo for pre-season as he mulls whether to resume his playing career.

Holden, 30, was hailed as one of the building blocks of the US national team at the time of leaving his hometown Dynamo for Bolton Wanderers in January 2010, but a nightmare run of injuries during his four-and-a-half-year spell in England has since left his career in limbo.

The Scottish-born midfielder suffered the first of several knee injuries in March 2011, and after a handful of short-lived comebacks, has been out of senior action since tearing his right anterior cruciate ligament during the 2013 Gold Cup final.

His last comeback attempt in March 2014 lasted just 23 minutes into a Bolton under-21 game before another setback forced him to undergo his fourth major knee operation in the space of just three seasons.

The one-time MLS All-Star, whose Trotters contract expired following the 2013-14 campaign, has since been working as a TV pundit back in the States during his rehabilitation, but there has been ongoing speculation that his career could be over.

However, he now says that he finally feels fully healthy again and, what's more, even joined the USA’s January camp in Los Angeles this week to train as a guest player while he contemplates his next move.

The Dynamo, who are managed by former Bolton boss Owen Coyle and still hold his MLS rights, have offered the Texas-native the chance to revive his career back in familiar surroundings, but he remains undecided on whether to take up their invitation.

"I think I owe it to myself, and any team that I would perhaps be seeking out, to figure it out on my own before I start to dive a little deeper into those conversations," Holden told Vice Sports. "If I go back to playing I'll be extremely happy, and I'd love to play one more time.

“But I also know that if I don't go back to playing, I have a lot to be thankful for and things have gone well."

Holden also ruled out a return to Europe for the moment, adding: "I'm pretty aware that if I went back to the UK or something now, at 30 years old and having had two-and-a-half years of injuries, that most clubs would take a look at me but would also be very sceptical of my ability to stay fit.

“That would not deter me, but if I'm looking at the big picture, it's probably not the smartest play."

Holden, who has 25 USA caps to his name, made 34 total appearances for Bolton between 2010 and 2013 and was voted the club’s Player of the Year in 2011, despite missing the final two months of the Premier League season with a broken femur.

It remains to be seen whether he will ever be able to replicate that form if he does decide to make a comeback, but given the determination and perseverance he has shown in the face of past adversity, it would be foolish to bet against him

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