FORMER Rotherham United winger Anthony Forde is in hospital with a punctured lung and four broken ribs after suffering the injuries playing for new club Oxford United.
The 26-year-old, who turned down a new deal with the Millers in the summer, sustained the damage in a challenge during the Oxford's goalless League One home draw with Shrewsbury Town last Saturday.
He is expected to remain in hospital until later this week and faces an extensive spell on the sidelines.
U's boss Karl Robinson told the club's website: "Fordey was really struggling and that wasn't nice for the other lads to see.
"We know he is in good hands and they will just keep an eye on him in hospital for a day or two before he goes home and starts his recovery.
"We won't set a timescale on that. It’s far too early for that. It’s just good news that everything has been diagnosed clearly and now we can seek specialist advice on how to help Fordey get back to full fitness."
Forde has made 22 appearances for Oxford since leaving AESSEAL New York Stadium. He wasn't a regular starter at first but in recent weeks had become an important part of Robinson's play-off-chasing side.
The player said: "I want to thank the pitchside medical team for their help. After that, everyone, from the ambulance team to the doctors and staff at the John Ratcliffe Hospital, has been amazing.
"I’m not going to lie, it’s still very painful, but we know what it is and we know there is no long-term damage to my lung so hopefully it’s just a case of the ribs healing now."