Tamworth goalkeeper Scott Bevan's future has been left in doubt after having a kidney removed just hours before making a dream return to the Football League.
The 26-year-old, who joined from Milton Keynes Dons, underwent emergency surgery on Wednesday after being seriously injured in a collision with former Tamworth striker Julian Alsop in Tuesday's victory at Forest Green Rovers.
Bevan, who had a starring role in the Lambs' FA Cup heroics at Stoke City at the start of the month, had been due to go to Stockport County to discuss a transfer.
He is presently in intensive care and is likely to remain in hospital for at least a week.
Lambs manager Mark Cooper said the Nationwide Conference club had been stunned by the news.
"Scott should have been on his way to a League club the next day, but instead he is in intensive care in hospital," Cooper said. "I don't know what the future holds for him. It's too early to think about football. All we are concerned about is seeing him get healthy and on the road to recovery."
Cooper was angry at Alsop's foul on Bevan, which earned the striker a caution.
The Forest Green doctor was consulted because of severe swelling to Bevan's side and the keeper was sick on the coach home. He went to hospital in Milton Keynes and, after observation, doctors decided to operate.
"It was a shocking challenge," Cooper said. "Scott collected the ball side-on to Julian and Julian came in and clattered him.
"The force was such that when the doctors operated, they found the kidney had been shattered. During the operation, he lost three-quarters of his body's blood."
Mark Gayle will deputise for Bevan when the Lambs entertain Stevenage Borough tomorrow.
Gayle was in goal last night when a youthful Lambs side bowed out of the Staffordshire Senior Cup at Stafford Rangers. Danny Edwards netted the 50th-minute decider. ..SUPL: