Following his horrific car crash at the start of last season, no one was really sure if Palace left-back Pape Souare would ever play football again but in the video below, he looks as good as ever.
Given the unique nature of the injuries Pape sustained last year, few if any were sure if we would ever see him on a football pitch again but the full-back’s desire to return, coupled with endless stream of goodwill showered upon him by Palace fans, has led him to a point where he can once again join in with the first-team’s pre-season training plans.
Without any proper back-up for the Senegal international when he was sidelined, Alan Pardew was forced to use a variety of different players on the left side of defence; a problem that was only properly solved in the January transfer window, when Pardew’s replacement Sam Allardyce spent big to bring in both Patrick van Aanholt and Jeffrey Schlupp from Sunderland and Leicester respectively. They were moves that shored us up well in the position and contributed hugely to our successful battle against the drop but for Pape on a personal level, it will have brought a sense of uncertainty about his place in the group going forward.
There is no precedent for a professional footballer recovering from an injury such as Souare’s and getting back into Premier League action, making each step he takes towards a return all the more important. It may sound a little dewey-eyed, but after being told that he may never walk or run again in the days after the accident, any chance he has to play a part in Frank de Boer’s plans will feel like a bonus.
When any player sustains a serious injury, there is a tendency to brush over their weaker attributes and focus instead on the positive aspects of their game. Whilst no one would pretend that Souare was the perfect left-back, I’m sure I’m not the only one who’d feel a pang of emotion if he ever does manage to pull on a Palace shirt again.
Let’s hope it’s not beyond the realms of possibility.