U.S. national team midfielder Stuart Holden made a significant step on the road to recovering from the injury problems that have dogged him in recent years, making his competitive return as a late substitute in Bolton's 2-0 FA Cup third-round replay victory over Sunderland. The Trotters advanced to the fourth round, where they will meet Tim Howard and Everton. Follow GOAL.COM on Twitter
Marvin Sordell's two goals were enough to give Bolton a cushion over the Black Cats, and Holden, who proved his fitness in a reserve game last week, was given a run out by manager Dougie Freedman, entering in the 74th minute.
The 27-year-old made an instant impression after signing for Bolton Wanderers in 2010, being named the club's player of the season for 2010-11. A serious right knee injury after a collision with Manchester United's Jonny Evans in March 2011 ended his season and led to frustrating setbacks. He briefly returned in the fall of 2011 only to spend the ensuring 15 months on the sideline recovering from his knee injury. In Holden's absence, Bolton was relegated from the Premier League after the 2011-12 season and manager Owen Coyle was dismissed in favor of Freedman..
A former Houston Dynamo standout, the Scotland-born Holden made his USA debut in the 2009 CONCACAF Gold Cup and was on the USA roster for the 2010 FIFA World Cup.
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