STUART Holden has undergone a second bout of surgery on his right knee in an effort to play again for Wanderers next season.

The midfielder went under the surgeon’s knife again on Monday night and now faces a gruelling six-month spell of rehabilitation before considering a playing return.

But the popular US international is refusing to throw in the towel on his playing career despite a catalogue of unfortunate injuries over the last three years and will also be backed by Wanderers despite his contract coming to an end this summer.

Holden was on the verge of a first team comeback when he broke down at the Reebok during a development squad game against Everton just over a fortnight ago.

It proved to be a recurrence of a cruciate ligament injury suffered playing for his country last summer, which had gloom-mongers forecasting the end of his distinguished playing career.

Holden had made his comeback bid at the earliest possible opportunity as he raced to get fit in time for this summer’s World Cup finals but paid a heavy price – a fourth serious injury since March 2010.

His nightmarish run begun with an x-rated challenge by Manchester United defender Jonny Evans at Old Trafford and has seen him make just one start for Wanderers ever since.

Should all go well, Holden could be back training with the Whites by September, although Wanderers have also indicated that he would be offered a role in some capacity should his comeback bid stall.