THE door is still open for Stuart Holden to make a playing return with Wanderers.

Neil Lennon has confirmed talks have taken place with the popular US international, who has vowed to save his footballing career after a string of injuries.

Holden is out of contract and under no obligation to return to Bolton.

But it is understood the 29-year-old is keen to prove himself again with the Whites and has now been given assurances by the new Wanderers boss that he will get a chance to earn a new deal once he has fully recovered from his latest bout of knee surgery.

“He came in to see us last week,” Lennon told The Bolton News. “He is doing his rehab in Los Angeles. We have just said 'when you are fit and ready come over to Bolton and we will have a look at you again.'

“He is a lovely boy and a good player. The door is definitely open for him to come back.”

Understandably, given Holden’s desperate luck with injuries in the last four years, neither party is willing to put a timeframe on when we may see the midfielder in action again.

But confirmation from Lennon the club are looking to bring him back into the fold in the foreseeable future will be warmly received by many fans, who are desperate to see the former Houston Dynamo star’s fortunes take a turn for the better.

Since sustaining a horrific injury at Old Trafford in March 2011 in a challenge with Manchester United’s Jonny Evans, Holden has had three more serious knee injuries and made just nine senior appearances, four of which were for Sheffield Wednesday on loan.

But writing in an open letter to fans last month he insisted his career was not over, and that he was determined to make his latest comeback attempt a success.

“I've decided to take it slow having come to the conclusion that I can be my own worst enemy,” he wrote. “I work hard every single day but my body has gone through a lot of trauma and with each injury comes the need to be cautious and smart about rehab.

“I know I can beat this and trust me, I wouldn't keep trying if I it wasn't possible. I've always told myself that, if I wake up in the morning and that drive and determination is gone, it's time to walk away.

“Stay tuned, this isn’t over yet.”