OGUCHI Onyewu has backed Stuart Holden to win his fitness fight and play again for Wanderers next season.

The US international will come face-to-face with compatriot Tim Ream at Hillsborough this afternoon, with both defenders vying for a place in Jurgen Kilnsmann’s World Cup squad.

Holden’s absence in an injury-plagued three years has been felt by club and country but with Dougie Freedman confirming the 28-year-old is targeting a return from a second cruciate ligament injury in late June, Sheffield Wednesday star Onyewu is keeping his fingers crossed his friend makes a full recovery.

“Stuart when fit is a great contributor to the team and the squad; he’s just been struggling with injuries for the last three or four years,” he said.

“It’s just unfortunate that in the game where he came back from injury he hurt himself again.

“It’s nobody’s fault. He did all the testing beforehand and saw the doctors beforehand.

“It was one of those fluke things that unfortunately happened. Knowing him, he’s a fighter, he’s a realist; he put his head down and got back to work and is focusing on getting back for next season.

“He’s a solid midfielder. I just hope that when he comes back from this, all the injuries are behind him and he can put the dark days behind him and look forward to the sunlight.”