Imps Duo Ruled Out For Season

Credit Graham Burrell

The Imps’ desperate injury record has worsened with news that two of our players will be ruled out for the rest of the season.

Summer signing Charles Vernam has had a tough start to life in red and white. The 26-year-old has appeared 29 times for the Imps in all competitions but managed just six league starts. He picked up an injury in pre-season and didn’t make his debut until the 1-1 draw with Forest Green, but from there, he’s struggled to get going. He’s scored once, in the 2-1 EFL Trophy defeat against Doncaster, but has been hard-pushed for outings in recent weeks.

It was revealed in the post-match interview on Saturday that Vernam is now out for the season. “Devastated for Charles, a great, great pro,” said Mark Kennedy. “He has had an operation on his knee, a little meniscus tear that’s been repaired. It’s been successful, but he’ll be out for the rest of the season, back in pre-season.”

The fact he’ll be back in pre-season is a boost, especially as he’s done relatively well (or certainly no worse than our loan players) when he’s played.

Credit Graham Burrell

Sadly, there’s another knee operation needed elsewhere in the squad, and it is bad news for Lewis Montsma. The big defender missed a year after tearing his ACL in January 2022, and he went off in the recent game with Fleetwood, immediately causing some consternation among fans. That seems to have been well-placed because it’s now been revealed he too is out for the season. Scans have shown significant damage, and Jez George admitted it isn’t good news.

“Everyone is devastated for Lewis,” he told the BBC. “Lewis has shown incredible professionalism and commitment throughout his rehab and could not have done more. The same can be said of our medical and sports science staff. Lewis is currently back home to spend some time with his family and will be assessed by a specialist knee consultant next week.”

Lewis joined the Imps from FC Dordrecht in 2020 and became an instant hit with his goalscoring prowess. He has made 65 League One starts for the club, bagging seven goals, but his luck has been wretched with injuries. He started the 2021/22 season with an injury and had just got back to full-match fitness when he did his ACL. He returned against Accrington but picked up a three-match ban in only his second outing against Bristol Rovers. He’s now set for a spell on the sidelines, and only time will tell how quickly we can see him back amongst the first-team squad.

In other, more positive news, it was confirmed last week that TJ Eyoma and Joe Walsh are back training on the grass, with an outside chance of making a squad over the Easter weekend.