BY IAIN COLLIN – Capital City Press
Dunfermline yesterday welcomed defender Lewis Martin back to training for the first time since he was involved in a terrifying car crash last month.
The Scotland under-19 internationalist has missed the Pars’ last two games after the shocking accident on a foggy morning on the way to training.
The 19-year-old was a passenger in the car driven by his girlfriend when it struck a pole and flipped over in the middle of a roundabout on the south side of the Kincardine Bridge.
Martin was left with a sore back from whiplash and bruising to his knees, whilst his girlfriend also hurt her back and suffered cuts and bruises.
With the car a write-off, it appears things could have been much worse, but Pars manager Allan Johnston is thrilled the teenager has now recovered sufficiently to return to full training.
Johnston said: “Lewis Martin was back in training, which is great because it’s been a bit of a nightmare for him.
“He was really lucky, because it was a bad one. The car overturned and I think the car ended up a write-off.
“So, he was really fortunate to come out of that with nothing more serious.
“It was him and his girlfriend and the two of them are fine, that’s the main thing.
“It’s just taken him a week or two to get back to normal again.
“He was still feeling his back and his knees for a wee bit, just with the impact, but thankfully he’s better now.”
Less dramatic but, in football terms, as concerning for Dunfermline will have been the hamstring injury that caused top scorer Faissal El Bakhtaoui to leave the field after just 38 minutes of Saturday’s defeat to St Mirren.
The Frenchman has netted an astonishing 15 goals in 15 appearances this season and any enforced absence would be a major blow to the Pars.
However, although the 22-year-old has not trained since last weekend’s 4-0 defeat in the Petrofac Training Cup quarter-final in Paisley, Johnston remains hopeful the prolific marksman could be considered for tomorrow’s trip to face Stranraer.
He added: “Faiss is getting better but he never trained on Thursday, so we’re hoping he’ll be fine on Friday.
“He’s a naturally fit lad and the good thing is it’s nothing serious, that’s a major plus.
“I think he’s just been a bit tight, it’s been niggling a wee bit. So, hopefully with a couple of days’ rest it’s starting to feel a bit better already.”