All season long, I have been guilty of lamenting the loss of Callum Morton.
Barely a week goes by when an article or podcast doesn’t make reference to the on-loan star, and how much we have missed him this season. I firmly believe had he been fit, we could add six or seven points to our existing total, because in some games we have needed that fresh centre forward with a different skillset to Tom Hopper. I’m not having a go at Hopps by the way, he’s been excellent of late, but in those final 20 minutes against Bristol Rovers for example, a different type of nine running the channels might have brought us a goal. The same goes for Peterborough, maybe even Hull and definitely Doncaster.
Well, it is almost time for us to stop wondering if Callum Morton will make us a better side because he could be back as soon as next Saturday, as Michael revealed in his press conference this morning.
“He’s coming along all right,” said the boss ahead of this Saturday’s long trip to Plymouth. “We’re hopeful he might be involved for the Crewe game. If not, then Ipswich. From a general fitness point of view, he’s a very fit lad. Getting him match fit might take a bit of time.”
We face Crewe a week on Saturday at Sincil Bank, hoping that by then we have ended the current run of drawn games. Including EFL trophy matches, City have drawn five games in February, having only drawn five matches between August and the end of January. Maybe, the difference between a draw and a win is a late injection of fresh legs up front, something the current injury crisis does not afford us.
“I do think he’s one of those players who can get up to speed pretty quickly,” added Michael. “With these types of injuries, it’s more about getting the blessing from the surgeon and the medical staff, to know he’s in a place, physically, that he can do what’s expected of him.”
Morton joined the Imps on the same day as Alex Palmer, and made his debut as a late sub in the Imps 2-1 victory against Crewe in the League Cup, which is ironic given that is who we could see him against next. He made his first start for City as we drew 1-1 with Scunthorpe United in the EFL Trophy, but he had left the field before we went to penalties.
On September 15, Morton scored his first goal in Lincoln colours, hitting the net in the 90th minute as Bradford City were thrashed 5-0 in the EFL Cup. Four days later he came on late as we beat MK Dons 2-1 at Stadium MK.
In the days after the MK Dons win, Morton suffered an injury to his shoulder in the gym, which eventually required surgery. It was unclear at first what the damage might be, with a couple of weeks mooted as a possible duration. Sadly, Morton needed surgery and returned to West Brom for rehabilitation. He returned to Sincil Bank early in February 2021 to finish the final stages of his comeback and now looks likely to play a key role in our final push towards an unlikely spot in the Championship.