Port Vale defender Adam Yates suffered horrific injuries after colliding with a team-mate.
The 34-year-old was left with a fractured nose, cheeks bones and eye sockets as well as a broken upper jaw and wrist.
He is waiting to find out if he has suffered any long-term damage after the clash with goalkeeper Sam Hornby during a reserve match.
Yates has also had to have 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.
He was playing in a reserve game against Morecambe on the Valiants’ Bycars training pitch on Tuesday when he collided with Hornby as they both went for a loose ball.
The 34-year-old was kept in hospital in Tuesday night before being released on Wednesday.
Yates is the Valiants’ longest-serving player having made 248 appearances since he joined the club in 2009.
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.
Yates said: “I would like to thank everybody who has contacted me and sent their support in regards to my recent injury.
“After years of a relatively problem-free career, I’ve suffered the two worst injuries I could have imagined during the past 18 months, but the most recent could inflict long-term damage, and at this stage we don’t know the severity of particularly the eye injury.
“I’d like to thank the manager, players and chairman as well as the fans who have offered their support so far and I hope to be back fit as soon as possible. Up the Vale.”
Port Vale manager Neil Aspin described the injuries as horrendous and among the worst he has seen on a football pitch.
Aspin said: “Everybody’s thoughts are with him at the moment because he suffered an horrendous injury in the reserve game.
“I have never seen, on a football pitch, someone get the extent of the injuries he has got.
“It is really bad luck for him and we are all disappointed because we know what sort of lad and character he is. It is a real shame for him, you don’t want to see that happen.
“We hope he can make a full recovery and get all his injuries seen to and has no affect from that.
“The main thing is he gets everything done properly and he gets the best treatment he can.
“I am thinking of it more from his point of view rather than mine or the team’s. It is just a real shame for him.”
Yates has also thanked staff at the Royal Stoke University Hospital who he said had given him fantastic care.