DOUGIE Freedman is refusing to give up on Stuart Holden despite the midfielder suffering another setback on the injury front.
The US international will fly home to see a surgeon on Monday to see what work needs doing on his right knee after breaking down in his comeback game for the development squad on Monday night.
Many have speculated that the desperately unlucky 28-year-old would be unable to continue his playing career if it was found that another long bout of rehabilitation would be required.
But despite Holden seemingly facing another daunting battle to return to regular football, Freedman has pledged that Wanderers will give him every opportunity to keep playing before even considering offering him other roles at the football club.
“I’m so disappointed for the lad,” he told The Bolton News. “I went to see him the next night for a meal and a drink and he’s a very positive person.
"I was going with the attitude ‘have you got it in your mindset to go again Stuart?’
“But before I got the question out he was telling me ‘I’m going back there to see my surgeon and if the worst comes to the worst, I’ll be back training in pre-season, if it’s the best possible news then I’ll be back training before the end of the season.’
“And if he’s got that attitude then I am backing him 100 per cent.”
While much will depend on the outcome of his meeting with his surgeon in the US, Holden has been guaranteed a role at the Reebok by Freedman if his worst fears are confirmed.
“I want Stuart here for many, many years in many different capacities,” he said.
“He’s very unselfish, he’s all about the football club, rather than take, take, take.
“That’s what sort of person I am as well and I love to have that type around me.”