How close is Holden to contributing? 

March, 7, 2013

It's been almost two months since Stuart Holden made his long-awaited return to action with Bolton Wanderers. That Jan. 15 FA Cup game against Sunderland marked the American's first appearance for the club since September 2011, and just his second since suffering a horrific knee injury -- one that eventually required multiple surgeries -- in a Premier League match against Manchester United six months before that.

But since stepping back onto the field more than seven weeks ago, Holden has seen just 94 minutes of action, and he's been an unused substitute in three of Bolton's last four league games.

Given the huge amount of time the 27-year-old has spent on the sidelines over the last two years, it's not surprising to see Wanderers manager Dougie Freedman bring Holden back slowly, but it's fair to suggest that the lack of recent activity is beginning to make the U.S. national team a little worried.

Doug McIntyre is a staff writer for ESPN The Magazine. He has covered American and international soccer since 2002.