Football - Holden in Bolton frame

Stuart Holden could make his long-awaited return to the Bolton first-team when Dougie Freedman's men travel to Sunderland for their FA Cup third-round replay.

PA Sport

Holden sustained a serious knee against Manchester United in March 2011 and his attempted comeback against Aston Villa in last season's League Cup stands as his only subsequent appearance due to a further setback.

But the USA international midfielder came through a reserve outing against Oldham last week and is ready to take a place in the squad alongside young forward Josh Vela, who was an unused substitute for Saturday's 1-1 draw with Millwall following a lengthy knee injury absence of his own.

Team GB Olympic squad member Marvin Sordell scored as the initial tie ended 2-2 and is pushing for a start in attack once more having impressed with a lively cameo against the Lions.

David Wheater (knee) is back in full training but the former Middlesbrough defender is pencilled in for a reserve-team game against Newcastle next Monday to conclude his lengthy rehabilitation.

Midfielder Mark Davies (shoulder) is two to three weeks away from a return to action and remains sidelined alongside defender Matt Mills (thigh).

Wales international striker Craig Davies will have to wait until the weekend for his Wanderers debut having made his move from Barnsley after the first game with the Black Cats.

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