Crystal Palace boss Alan Pardew has confirmed that left-back Pape Souare will be out of action for around six months and will be unavailable for the Africa Cup of Nations, with Senegal, following a serious car crash on Sunday.
The 26-year-old had made four appearances for Palace this season, before Sunday's major incident which required the player to be cut out of his car and the London Air Ambulance service to fly him to hospital.
Souare is understood not to have suffered any long-term injuries that could hinder his career, other than a broken thigh bone he suffered and an injury to his jaw bone which will sideline him until around March.
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Despite a long injury layoff, Pardew is hopeful that the former Lille player can make a complete recovery in time to feature for Palace in the latter stages of the campaign.
"There is nothing in the engineering of the knee and ankle that's a problem so we think five to six months he should be up and running around again." Pardew confirmed.
"I expect him to play again this season. I'm not too clear on the details it was such a quick incident, the car pulled in front of him and he had very little time to react and therefore the accident occurred."
The Palace boss admits his player was lucky to escape without further damage, and has hinted at a possible reason why Souare was involved in the accident.
Warning for everybody
"He's having some bad news with his father, who is very sick so maybe that was on his mind." Pardew admitted. "It's just a warning to everybody, car accidents are accidents in the end of the day, you have to be alive and alert to everything that's going on.
"He isn't having the best of times, but we are all very supportive of him and we love Pape and we can't wait to see him back."
As reported by Sky Sports on Monday, Pardew said: "He's a bit bashed up but we'll have to look after him and get him back as quick as we can. He's a great lad and a great player for us and he'll be a big loss."
Kelly to step in
Souare was absent from the Palace squad last weekend, and former Liverpool defender Martin Kelly will continue to feature in his place, after helping his side secure a 2-1 win at Middlesbrough on Saturday.
Crystal Palace chairman Steve Parish also confirmed that the club had made a large donation to the London Air Ambulance, after they had helped Souare at the scene.
“The club note that this organisation is a charity and completely funded from donations as such we are making a contribution and would urge everyone to support this invaluable service for the people of London.” said Parish.
Will Martin Kelly be adequate cover for Crystal Palace during Pape Souare's absence? Give your opinion in the comment box below.