After more than a year on the sidelines battling complications from a knee injury, Holden returned to the playing field and completed a 65-minute shift in Bolton's reserves' 3-0 victory over Oldham Athletic on Tuesday.
The 27-year-old American midfielder had been out of action since October 2011, when his return from a knee injury suffered during a clash with Manchester United's Jonny Evans the previous March was cut short. A routine follow-up revealed torn cartilage and required further surgery that was only supposed to keep Holden out of commission for six more months.
Instead, Holden has spent the last 15 months recovering and rehabilitating, only recently returning to training with the League Championship side. Manager Dougie Freedman insisted that the club would not rush Holden, Bolton's 2010 Player of the Year, back to action, and Tuesday's game was the latest step in getting the U.S. national team midfielder back into match form and fitness for his eventual return to the first team.