Frankie Musonda insists missing out on Raith Rovers’ playoff campaign has only made him more determined to be part of a promotion push next term.
The 23-year-old was was a standout performer prior to suffering a serious knee injury in April, making 26 appearances — shining at both left-back and centre-half — and scoring three times.
And he was left ‘gutted’ to be a mere observer during the final weeks of an otherwise sensational season, culminating in Rovers’ two-legged defeat against Dundee last month.
“It was definitely frustrating, especially as I felt I played a big role in the team,” said Musonda. “I played most of the league games on our way to the playoffs — and all that hard work was geared up to playing in those big games.
“So, I was gutted to get an injury at the time I did.
“Even during my injury, I was still in and around the club, speaking to the boys. I watched all the games, albeit on club TV, and texted the boys and the gaffer; just doing whatever I could to be encouraging.
“I thought the boys did brilliantly. They fell just short but I think that’s just given us an idea of the league and given some of the boys — like myself — more experience and determination to come into the league this season and go one better.”
Musonda is now well on the comeback trail following surgery to cure damage to the tendon around his kneecap, with the opening day of the Championship season a tentative target.
“The operation was successful and the surgeon was pleased with how it went,” revealed Musonda. “I’m about a month in to my rehab now and I’ve been in the gym for the last two our three weeks.
“The physios and sports scientists seem pleased with my progression. I’ve got another consultation coming up and I should get a bit more information about where the surgeon feels I am — but I feel good and am progressing nicely.
“I’m hoping that after speaking to him, he’ll be happy with how I’ve developed and then I can get out jogging in the next few weeks and really start pushing ahead of the new season.
“I hope to be ready by the time the league season starts, or at least be pretty close to being ready.”
‘It was important to get that contract signed’
The news that Musonda, who only penned a one-year deal upon his arrival from Luton Town last year, had signed on for another season was greeted with universal cheer from the Raith faithful.
And he told Raith TV: “It was important to get that contract signed, and also for the club to help me in terms of my rehab and getting fit. Now I can just focus on that.”