Yesterday’s 1-1 draw with Exeter City has left fans hopefully of a decent season, despite not getting all three points.
As we know, our campaign last time out was blighted with injuries, and there was some consternation that we missed several players yesterday. All-in, at least five players were missing through injury, four of which would almost certainly have been around the first team squad. Two of those who were absent are new signings, which was disappointing for supporters, but how long are they likely to be out for.
Here’s what we know.
I spoke to Vernam in the week, and he confirmed he picked up a knock against Blackburn. We’re not looking at a serious spell on the sidelines; Charles suggested he could be back for Portsmouth, although there’s a chance it could be the week after when we face Forest Green Rovers.
It’s worth remembering that Vernam has had a full pre-season, so isn’t going to be playing catch up and should be ready to drop straight into the side. The likelihood is he would have started yesterday’s game in place of Hakeeb Adelakun, but as Haks showed, he’s now got a fight on his hands for a starting place.
House isn’t injured as such; I’m told he has been poorly with some sort of viral infection (no, not that one). I’m told he could be back in training on Monday, and perhaps even a part of the squad that faces Doncaster Rovers in the cup on Tuesday night. House has also had a full pre-season, scoring our only goal against Football League opposition in the friendlies, and will almost certainly be a part of the matchday squad when he returns.
Had he been fit this weekend, he would likely have been on the bench, with Chris Maguire the player who wouldn’t have featured. That means we might have seen Ben in the final few minutes, but he is a player I expect to do well when he comes in as he finished last season strongly.
Danny Mandroiu is the summer signing that has perhaps slipped under the radar over the last couple of weeks. We haven’t seen him in the squad, he arrived injured and he spoke to fans against Blackburn and told them he was at least two weeks away. That would put his return next week against Portsmouth, but I was told yesterday a more realistic date could be Forest Green at home in a fortnight.
Mandriou’s injury was not a major concern when we landed him; we needed to act fast as other clubs were interested in the player, and we’ve taken the momentary hit on him. It’s his ankle that has had him ruled out for the start of his Imps career, but it isn’t thought to be troubling long-term.
Mandroiu is in a unique position because he may have missed much of our pre-season, but he has played 19 times for Shamrock this season, scoring seven goals. That means he will be match fit, or League of Ireland match ft, so shouldn’t be too far adrift of the other players when he does find himself in the first team squad.
Had he been fit yesterday, my gut feeling is he might have played in the advanced midfield role occupied by either Tashan Oakley-Boothe or Max Sanders.
Montsma injured his ACL in the game against Oxford last season, but he is on the road to recovery. There’s been no exact timeline for his reappearance with the Imps, but it is expected he’ll be back before the end of the year. It ended a tough 2021/22 season for the big defender, who kicked off the campaign with a knock and missed the first four league matches.
I’ve literally no idea. If the Head Coach doesn’t know, what chance do we have? If I was to hazard a wild guess, I’d say we’re unlikely to see him in an Imps shirt again, but I said that a week ago about Maguire, so who knows.