Mansfield Town striker Danny Rose is recovering well from an operation to insert two metal plates into jaw fractures after a horror injury at Newport County that also saw him lose a tooth, severe an artery and lose a lot of blood last weekend.
Rose, on a liquid diet for the next fortnight, has been told to get himself away to some sunshine once he is able to.
But boss David Flitcroft is still hoping last season’s top scorer may be fit enough to play again this season.
The manager said seeing Rose laying on the pitch last weekend bleeding badly before going off wearing an oxygen mask was one of the worst things he had ever seen in football.
“Danny is stable now,” said Flitcroft. “He is in hospital as we speak. He had the operation done last night.
“But the 72 hours from that knock have been remarkable really - to see him up and talking.
“I can only thank everyone for their professionalism as Danny was in a bad place.
“He had an airway to pump the blood out of his throat as he severed an artery in the fractured jaw which caused excessive blood.
“I was 10 yards from it and that’s the first time I have seen so much blood on a pitch.
“Watching the referee mopping the blood up, it throws you.
“It was a horrific injury. At the time there was a lot of concern from the doctor and not only our players, but Newport’s players as well and also their manager.
“It was one of those injuries you just don’t want to see on any football pitch.”
He added: “Our medical staff have been phenomenal, Newport’s medical staff and their manager Mike Flynn have been brilliant and they went to see Danny down there.
“When you see something so horrific it brings the best out of people.
“Newport’s medical team, staff and doctor were absolutely brilliant. Danny has them to thank and we as a club have them to thank.
“Tommo, our main physio, almost lived with Danny down in Newport for three days and got him sorted and back up.
“I was with Danny yesterday and he’s still got his sense of humour and was laughing and joking.
“He is stable and he is a good place.”
Flitcroft said there was no blame on anyone as Rose simply got caught unaware between two challengers.
“He has had one hell of a bang. But there was no real malice in the tackle,” said Flitcroft.
“He wasn’t expecting it. He’s not seen the second player coming in and he’s ended up right in the middle of it.
“It was one of those tackles you get that’s there’s nothing you can do about and it’s no one’s fault.
“It was just Danny being committed in going for the challenge and coming off the worst.
“But the recovery from the minute of impact to now has been colossal.”
Rose now begins the slow road to a full recovery and Flitcroft explained: “He is now in a six week process where he will be on a liquid diet for a couple of weeks, then eating soft food from that point with some supplementation.
“We might let him go and try to get some sun for a week or something like that to stimulate him.”
As far as a return to first team action was concerned, Flitcroft added: “Danny is committed and he will certainly want to try to get back for the last games.
“It is quite a steady progress. Hopefully in two weeks he will be able to train but non-contact.
“So we can still get the dynamic football movements into him.
“We just have to monitor who he trains with and make sure there is no contact.
“We can keep him up to a good fitness level, and then it’s just on Danny’s mindset of when he joins in and feels secure and knowing how he’s going to protect himself from any more knocks.
“I think once you’re plated and it’s in your jaw I think it’s as strong as it was before.
“So I think it’s then just your mental and psychological approach to such an injury.”