Sunday 19 November 2017

Evans says sorry to sidelined Holden

Mark Ogden

Bolton midfielder Stuart Holden has absolved Manchester United's Jonny Evans of blame for the knee injury which required surgery in London last night, after being told he will be sidelined for six months with ligament damage sustained at Old Trafford on Saturday.

Holden, who suffered a broken leg in a challenge with Nigel de Jong while playing for the United States against Holland last March, is now battling to be fit in time for the start of next season as a result of the injury which will force him to miss Bolton's FA Cup semi-final clash with Stoke at Wembley next month.

United defender Evans was shown a straight red card for the second-half challenge which left Holden requiring 26 stitches in a deep wound to his left knee.

But despite having his season ended by his second serious injury in the space of 12 months, Holden insists that he does not hold Evans responsible after discussing the tackle with the Northern Ireland international yesterday.

Speaking through his Twitter account, Holden said: "Just had a sincere phone call from Jonny Evans wishing me the best in my recovery, def wasn't intentional, just unfortunate part of the game. I will come back stronger and better than before. Down 2 London 4 Surgery later today and then road 2 recovery begins."

Holden, who has become a key figure for Owen Coyle's team since arriving from Major League Soccer outfit Houston Dynamo in January 2010, will also miss the United States' Gold Cup campaign this June. Evans will be suspended for United's forthcoming league games against West Ham and Fulham before completing his suspension during the FA Cup semi-final against Manchester City next month.

United manager Alex Ferguson said: "The boy's got a bad gash, so that justifies the sending off. Evans is not that type of player, but I don't think we can complain."

Meanwhile, United's goalkeeping coach Eric Steele was in Germany on Sunday for Bayer Leverkusen's Bundesliga clash with Schalke.

He was thought to be watching Schalke's Manuel Neuer (24) and Leverkusen's Rene Adler (26), who are seen as possible replacements for the retiring Edwin van der Sar. (© Daily Telegraph, London)

Irish Independent

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