Darlington defender Paddy Almond is due for surgery following a brain bleed after a suspected concussion during Saturday’s game at Southend.
Almond, 20, was transferred to a specialist hospital in London after initial treatment.
The Sunderland academy graduate, who joined Darlington last month, underwent a second ultrasound on Sunday morning.
A later statement from Darlington said surgery was needed to relieve pressure on his brain.
“Everyone at Darlington FC and across the world of football keeps him in our thoughts and hopes he makes a speedy recovery,” the statement read. continued.
“He was able to hold conversations with our physio, Danny O’Connor, which hopefully is a good sign.”
“We would like to thank everyone in the world of football for all their goodwill messages, it has been very heartwarming to read so many good wishes. We are sure you will be keeping your fingers crossed for Paddy as well.”
Centre-back Almond only returned to action in November after being a passenger in a car accident in June which injured his head.
He was treated on the pitch and in the dressing room before being taken to Southend General Hospital and then transferred to London.
“Everyone at Southend United send their best to Paddy and wish him a speedy recovery,” their National League opponents posted on Twitter.
Southend won the FA trophy tied 2-1.