Lincoln City’s injury-riddled season has been dealt yet another blow as goalkeeper Josh Griffiths, one of the club’s star performers, has suffered ligament damage which could rule him out for the rest of the campaign.
Griffiths, 20, has been a near ever-present for the Imps since arriving on loan from West Bromwich Albion last summer, making 35 appearances in all competitions this season.
His last appearance came in Lincoln’s 3-1 victory over Sheffield Wednesday in League One on March 5, missing out on the game against Ipswich Town on Tuesday due to this injury.
Now Imps manager Michael Appleton will have to prepare for life without the loanee, who is a regular in the England under-21 squad, and the possibility of an emergency loan has been discussed.
City currently only have one fit senior goalkeeper at the club, Jordan Wright, who joined the club in January from Nottingham Forest, with Sam Long out on loan at Drogheda United in Ireland.
Appleton reserved praise for Wright’s performance during the 2-0 defeat to Ipswich, but the Imps were unable to field a goalkeeper on the bench during that game due to a lack of availability.
While an emergency loan is possible, the most likely scenario would see Sam Long recalled from his loan and Jordan Wright given a run in the first team until the end of the season, with Griffiths going back to West Brom. However, it is unclear if there is a recall clause in Long’s loan, which would force the club’s hand.
Lincoln City already have one player out for the season in the form of Lewis Montsma, who suffered anterior cruciate ligament damage in his knee during a game earlier this season, and will be on the sidelines until the latter stages of 2022.
The goalkeeper issue is one the Imps will need to address quickly, with games coming thick and fast in the League One run-in, starting with an away trip to AFC Wimbledon on Saturday.
Lincoln are currently 18th in the table, hovering just six points and three places above the relegation zone, but crucially having a game in hand on the teams below them.