Port Vale's Adam Yates has suffered 'horrendous' injuries after fracturing his nose, cheekbones, eye sockets and breaking his jaw and wrist in a reserve match.
The defender must wait to see if he has suffered any long-term damage after a collision with goalkeeper Sam Hornby left him with the series of injuries.
The 34-year-old, from Werrington, Staffordshire, has also had to have stitches above and under his left eye and must wait to find out if there has been long-term damage to his vision.
Yates was playing in a reserve game against Morecambe on the Valiants' Bycars training pitch on Tuesday (November 28) when he collided with Hornby as they both went for a loose ball.
He was kept in hospital in Tuesday night before being released on Wednesday.
He missed the whole of last season after suffering a cruciate knee ligament injury and spent plenty of that time helping the club’s community scheme.
Port Vale manager Neil Aspin described the injuries as horrendous and among the worst he has seen on a football pitch.
Yates is the Valiants' longest-serving player having made 248 appearances since he joined the club in 2009.