BY RICHARD CAWLEY
Charlton manager Lee Bowyer wants to hand Jake Forster-Caskey a new deal – even though the midfielder is set to miss the rest of the League One campaign.
The 24-year-old is out of contract in June but rupured his ACL knee ligament just before the League One opener against Sunderland in August.
Forster-Caskey, pictured right, underwent an operation on Tuesday and is set for up to nine months on the sidelines.
“I love him as a person and as a player,” said Bowyer. “He’s a big asset for us. We will see how he progresses but I think and hope we will be offering him another year or two.
“I’m sure we will offer him something. It won’t be before the new year, like those others we need to sort out.
“We’ll see how his recovery goes but he is a good player for me. It was a massive blow when it happened.
“It wasn’t quite as bad when they opened the area up. Yeah it’s a long-term injury, but we thought he could be missing for 12 months from when he had surgery.
“Now they are saying there could be a chance he is back running before the end of the season. I can’t see him playing any football for us this season, but there’s the possibility we’ll see him back for pre-season – that’s a positive. Jake has got a long way to go but there is a bit of positivity.
“The injury is a tough thing for him to take and get through, but there is a bit of light at the end of the tunnel.”
Patrick Bauer is set to be out for up to 10 weeks after the German defender sustained ligament damage in his right knee at Bradford City. Bowyer said: “He went to the same knee specialist as Jake. Again the positive is that instead of 12 weeks out we are hearing it may be 10. Okay it is only two weeks, but it can make a big difference.
“It’s another big miss but it is something we can’t control.
“For some reason my players keep getting kicked. Jason Pearce had the same – someone was late and over the top as he cleared the ball. Pat did the same and the lad left his foot in. It shouldn’t be happening, my players should get looked after more.
“Just as we get people back, we lose people. I’d rather not have that situation. I’d rather I have a headache picking my best team for the next game. At the minute it is becoming harder and harder.”