Stuart Holden’s incredible streak of bad luck with injuries continued with Monday night’s news that the U.S. midfielder tore the anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee in Sunday’s Gold Cup Final.
Holden went down after a collision in the 18th minute of the United States’ 1-0 win over Panama with what was initially reported to be a sprain. Holden appeared disconsolate after the injury and a subsequent MRI confirmed that the news was bad.
Trainers had worked with him briefly on the field before he went off and walked to the sideline, where they continued to work on him. As Holden sat on the bench, his head buried in his hands, teammates trying to console him.
He walked to the locker room a short time later, and was limping visibly when he rejoined his teammates for the victory ceremony.
He later posted a photo of himself on Twitter drinking from the Gold Cup trophy.
“I will rise again!” Holden said Monday on Twitter. “Big love and thx to all the (at)officialbwfc and (at)ussoccer supporters, we will conquer once more. Lets do this .noholdenback”
U.S. coach Jurgen Klinsmann had this to say through U.S. Soccer:
“We are absolutely devastated for Stuart,” said U.S. head coach Jurgen Klinsmann. “He is such a great part of our team on the field and the locker room. He worked tremendously hard to recover from previous injuries and had really come back into form. He was fully prepared to head back to Bolton and challenge for a starting spot. Now he will have our full support as he goes down this road again, and we will be with him every step of the way.”
Holden has battled injury since he suffered a broken leg in a March 2010 friendly against the Netherlands as the U.S. prepared for the 2010 World Cup. Holden made it back in time to play a limited role in South Africa, but he was out again in March 2011 when he injured his left knee after a tackle from Jonny Evans against Manchester United. Holden came back briefly that September, but he was soon out for more surgery. Holden came back once more this past January and played sparingly for Bolton, before a March loan to Sheffield Wednesday.
Holden’s performance in the Gold Cup seemed to have the hard working midfielder firmly back in Klinsmann’s World Cup plans before the injury bug bit yet again. ACL injuries take anywhere from six months to a year to recover from and with Brazil 2014 starting in June, Holden is once again in a race against time.