Peru’s Jefferson Farfan was left temporarily paralyzed after an accident during a World Cup practice, BBC Sport reported.
The 33-year-old was reportedly rushed to the emergency room of a local hospital after suffering a “traumatic brain injury” in a collision with his team’s goalkeeper. Team members who witnessed the incident said they feared for Farfan’s life.
“When I saw him I thought the worst,” Peru defender Anderson Santamaria told reporters. “We were very shocked by what happened with Jefferson because he could not move his arms or legs, he had white eyes. It scared us a lot.”
In a statement, coach Ricardo Gareca said that Farfan has already recovered enough to be released from the hospital.
“It was a scare, but he is doing well, he sad. “The most important thing is he is recovering. There are some protocols in terms of recovery of a player so that means it is mandatory for a player to remain in hospital for 72 hours until he is stabilized. He could be released from hospital, but we understand the healthcare of the players is priority.”
Peru will be without Farfan for its final World Cup match with Australia on Tuesday per FIFA rules, which state that a player may not play within six days of suffering a head injury.
The Lokomotiv Moscow star posted a message to Instagram from his hospital bed.
“I was dying to be with my colleagues this last game,” he wrote. “But for medical reasons it is impossible.”