Pape Souare makes first Crystal Palace return nearly one year after crash

Crystal Palace defender Pape Souare made a return to action with a 45-minute run-out in a Development League clash against Nottingham Forest at Selhurst Park.

The Senegal left-back had made just four appearances for the Eagles before he was involved in a road traffic accident on the M4 in September 2016 which left him needing to be airlifted to hospital with a fractured thigh and jaw.

Souare, 27, faced a lengthy spell of rehabilitation and he paid tribute to the medics that helped nurse him back to fitness, telling cpfc.co.uk: "It was very nice to be back playing at Selhurst Park and I really enjoyed it. I have been working hard with the medical team and it's great that I am able to be back today.

"I played at wing-back today, but I feel comfortable in that position because I have played there before but now it is about working hard to keep getting my fitness to the level it needs to be so I am ready to challenge for the first-team squad when I can.

"This is my first main injury I have had since playing football and really I am just delighted to be in a position to be playing and I would like to thank the medical team for all the work they have done to get me back to this stage so that I am ready to be playing again.

"I was always focussed on my rehab and always believed that one day I would be back. I knew that after my operation I would have to work hard to make sure that I was strong enough to play. It has been a long journey, so it is pleasing to have played half of this game.''