Pape Souare faces up to six months out but Alan Pardew has said the Crystal Palace defender should make a full recovery following a serious car crash.
Souare has undergone surgery on his leg and jaw after the incident on the M4 saw the 26-year-old airlifted to hospital last weekend.
Speaking ahead of Sunday’s Premier League meeting with Stoke, Pardew said Souare should be released from hospital on Saturday, but will not return to training until next year.
Pardew said: “(He will be released) hopefully tomorrow (Saturday).
“I don’t think we have any concerns (with regards to his career).
“We think he will make a full recovery.
“It was a broken thigh, they have pinned that and that should repair as normal and stronger than anybody else’s.
“There is nothing in his knee or his ankle that is a problem so we think in four, five, six months he will be running and training again.
“It was a terrible accident and we have a huge debt, and I would like to go on record thanking the air ambulance and the terrific surgeons he has had to get him pieced together.”
A number of players and staff have been to visit Souare in hospital to help keep up his spirits.
He said: “He is in decent spirits considering and obviously the players and myself and the doctor – who has done a fantastic job keeping his spirits up – have been to visit.
“I am pretty sure there is a big collection of those who have gone to see him but he is a bit embarrassed because his jaw is big. In all seriousness, it was a serious incident and we are thankful he is in the best possible care.
“I think we have reminded him that his injuries are not as bad as they might have been, we are still not quite sure of some of the muscle injuries due to the trauma he has been under but we think he looks okay.
“It was a blow for us because we had a great win at the weekend and that really put back our emotions because we were all worried.”