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Match 48
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Pape Souare makes first Senegal return after life-threatening crash

Pape Souare could make his first Senegal appearance since June 2016 after being named in Aliou Cisse's 30-man squad for upcoming international friendlies as the Teranga Lions' World Cup preparations step up a gear.

The Crystal Palace left-back was severely injured in a car crash in September 2016, which required him to be airlifted to hospital and prematurely ended his season.

Following intensive rehabilitation, Souare finally returned to action in August 2017, with the defender recovering from a fractured thigh and a broken jaw.

He has made just three cup appearances for the Eagles this season - all as a substitute - and hasn't played in the Premier League since August 2016.

He didn't feature at all under previous Palace coaches Sam Allardyce or Frank de Boer, but is in line to make an unexpected international return when Senegal face Uzbekistan in Morocco on March 23 before facing Bosnia-Herzegovina in Le Havre four days later.

Souare is likely to be competing for a spot on the plane to Russia with on-loan Cardiff City left-back Armand Traore, who received a first call-up after several years in the wilderness following a fine season in the Championship.

Elsewhere, Papy Djilobodji and Oumar Niasse return and could feature for the first time since the 2015 Africa Cup of Nations and May 2016 respectively, while Nantes forward Santy Ngom has received his maiden call-up.

Sadio Mane, Keita Balde and Mbaye Niang are all talented options in a multi-faceted forward line, which also includes Ismaila Sarr, Diafra Sakho, Mame Biram Diouf and Moussa Sow, although there's no place for Sassuolo's Khouma Babacar.

Kara Mbodji is another absentee as he continues his recovery from injury, and it remains to be seen whether the influential defender will be back in time for the World Cup, where Senegal have been pitted against Poland, Colombia and Japan.

Full List.

Goalkeepers: Khadim Ndiaye, Alfred Gomis, Abdoulaye Diallo, Pape Seydou Ndiaye.

Defenders: Kalidou Koulibaly, Pape Souare, Salif Sane, Moussa Wague, Fallou Diagne, Papy Djilobodji, Lamine Gassama, Youssouf Sabaly, Armand Traore.

Midfielders: Assane Diousse, Idrissa Gueye, Badou Ndiaye, Cheikhou Kouyate, Alfred Ndiaye, Henri Saivet, Cheikh Ndoye.

Forwards: Santy Ngom, Mame Diouf, Moussa Konate, Oumar Niasse, Moussa Sow, Mbaye Niang, Diafra Sakho, Keita Balde, Sadio Mane, Ismaila Sarr.

Ed Dove is the Soccer Editor for KweséESPN. Follow him on Twitter @EddyDove.

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