January 14, 2013
Stuart Holden injured his right knee in a Premier League game on March 19, 2011.
Jon Super/AP

BOLTON, England (AP) -- American midfielder Stuart Holden could make his return from a long-term knee injury on Tuesday after being included on Bolton's roster for its FA Cup replay at Sunderland.

Holden injured his right knee during a challenge by Manchester United's Jonny Evans during a Premier League game on March 19, 2011. Holden returned from surgery to play in a League Cup match against Aston Villa that Sept. 20, then had surgery on the same knee eight days later.

Holden played 65 minutes in a reserve team match last week, and Bolton manager Dougie Freedman included the 27-year-old on his roster for the team's FA Cup third-round replay. Fellow midfielder Josh Vela, who is back from a long-term foot injury, also was included on the roster but Freedman said he hasn't decided whether either will play.

"Josh and Stuart will be involved tomorrow night," Freedman said. "I don't know if they'll play but they'll be in the squad. I think the two have proved their fitness in the last three or four weeks."

Bolton was relegated to the second tier for this season, and Freedman said he was thrilled to have Holden back.

"I must pay credit to him and the mental strength he's shown, and also to the way he handles himself around the place," Freedman said. "Josh Vela's been out injured and Stuart's pretty much taken him under his wing and helped him through injury. He's a fantastic lad to have around the place and he's been fantastic in training. He's got one more hurdle to go - to get in the team - and he deserves it."

The match against Sunderland is a replay after the two teams tied 2-2 at Bolton this month. The winner will play Everton in the fourth round.

Holden was a member of the 2010 U.S. World Cup team and has 17 international appearances.

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