Football - Freedman Holden on for Stuart's full recovery

Dougie Freedman will continue to carefully manage Stuart Holden's workload following the Bolton midfielder's return from injury.

PA Sport

USA international Holden made his first appearance of the season as a second-half substitute in last week's 2-0 defeat of Sunderland in the FA Cup following almost two years of severe knee problems.

The 27-year-old was absent from the matchday 18 as Wanderers drew 0-0 with Crystal Palace last weekend and it might not be the last time that Freedman has to rein in his player's natural enthusiasm.

"It's a wonderful occasion for the fans to see him coming back," said the Scot. "Hopefully he'll keep on recovering on the right lines and hopefully he'll be in the team on a regular basis very soon.

"It's a long way, you don't just play 20 minutes and that's you - done it.

"It's going to be another, I don't know, two or three months before we really see Stuart back to his best, but it was a big psychological step for him in terms of getting out there and competing against a Premier League side - he's been put up against a right good test there.

"Physically he's fine, he's been training for a month and he's fine, but psychologically he was great the next day.

"He's really been a bit of a pain in the backside in fact because he's desperate to get involved, desperate to play.

"But I've got a decision to make, and it's in the best interests of Stuart, on when to drop him in and when not to."

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