Stuart Holden, who is currently sidelined with a knee ligament injury, has set his sights on a December return and earning a place at the 2014 FIFA World Cup.
Holden suffered the injury playing for his country in the Gold Cup final against Panama in late July, just one week prior to the start of the Championship season, and initial fears were that he would miss the majority, if not all, of the domestic campaign..
The 28-year-old appeared on Fox Sports on Friday night, where he gave his opinion on the States' qualifying campaign as well as providing an update on his injury status.
When quizzed on his scheduled recovery time, the Wanderers midfielder said: "I tore my ACL in the (Gold Cup) final and, for me, it was a major setback. It was crushing at the time, but, once again, I know what I have to do to get myself healthy and there's no unknowns like there was with my last injuries. The surgery has been done and I'm now nine weeks post-op.
"I'm doing some great work rehab-wise. I have just started slow jogging and building my strength up, and the next 2-3 months are going to be exciting for me because I'll be getting back to playing.
"The plan is, by December, I'm looking to be back out on the field. I'm stepping up my rehab, in terms of doing some ball work, stepping up my fitness and getting that core fitness back just to make sure that my knee is comfortable in cutting in and all the hard turns and little things you experience in a game."
After vowing to be back on grass by the end of the year, Holden was then asked about his ambitions for the 2014 FIFA World Cup. The former Houston Dynamo midfielder made one four-minute substitute appearance in the 2010 tournament, against England, and he believes he is capable of making the squad for next summer's competition in Brazil.
"100% (it is a realistic goal)," he said. "You always like to dangle a carrot in front of yourself and that certainly is mine.
"I did it last time. I broke my leg eight weeks before the World Cup in South Africa and made it back to that team, and that's definitely a big goal for me.
"We (Holden and Jurgen Klinsmann) talked briefly after the injury happened and he was the first one to console me and I told him, looked into his eyes and said, 'I'll be on that plane to Brazil'. And I don't plan to go back on my word."
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