Last season had its fair share of bad moments, but seeing Lewis Montsma stretchered off with a serious injury against Oxford has to be right up there.
It was a strange game, City winning, Morgan Whittaker impressing and yet, as with (almost) everything positive last season, there was a cloud under the silver lining. The big Dutch defender is undoubtedly one of our star players when he’s on form, a threat at both ends, and he’s been a big miss since doing his cruciate ligament.
That was January, and last night, we finally got the news we’ve been waiting for; his return is close. I was lucky to chat to Lewis briefly before the game, where he confessed a November return to full training was the aim, but last night Mark Kennedy put some flesh on those bones.
He was asked about Montsma’s return by Radio Lincolnshire and confirmed he was getting to a good place.
“(He’s) massively on track,” said our head coach. “He’s been outside for ages, for those who don’t know. We just have to be very conscious of the injury he has. It was obviously very serious. I don’t want to say when it is, but he has a return to training date. The fact we can put a date on that is really positive; another player in a really good place.”
Montsma joined the Imps in the summer of 2020 from Dutch side FC Dordrecht and became an instant fan favourite with six goals in his first nine matches, including winners against Blackpool and Crewe. He scored against Liverpool in the League Cup and played a huge part in our push to the League One play-off final.
Last season he missed the first few games but was on the scoresheet as we drew at Sheffield Wednesday. In a more practical Imps side, his defensive qualities came to the fore, and it was gutting to see him suffer his serious injury.
Hopefully, we can now look forward to seeing him gently brought back into the fold, where our new three-at-the-back approach will benefit from his unique range of passing skills. As a defender able to step out of the back four and spray 50-yard passes to feet, I think he’ll be a huge asset to Mark Kennedy when we chose to go a little more cautious in games.