Sheffield United midfielder John Fleck was taken off on a stretcher after a serious-looking incident during his team’s 1-0 win at Reading.
Jayden Bogle grabbed United’s winner but the match was overshadowed by the second-half incident when Fleck went down apparently unchallenged, with his team-mates quickly indicating for the medics to run on the pitch to tend to him.
Fleck, 30, received “urgent medical care” according to United’s official Twitter account and, after a 10-minute delay, was taken off on a stretcher and out of the ground to a waiting ambulance.
United later stated on Twitter the player was conscious when he left the SCL Stadium to make the short trip to the Royal Berkshire Hospital.
After the match, United boss Slavisa Jokanovic said: “He is in hospital, he is conscious and he asked for the result. Hopefully he we will be okay.
“He is safe, in good hands and we pray that everything will be okay.”
United were leading thanks to a close-range goal from Bogle in the 56th minute and held on for a hard-earned victory.
The Blades began the stronger, with David McGoldrick cutting in from the left and seeing his cross deflected behind.
It produced the first of three early corners for the visitors, all of which were eventually cleared by the home defence, albeit not convincingly.
United also swung a series of crosses into the Reading area, which again caused problems but not any goal chances.
United almost went ahead in the 15th minute when Morgan Gibbs-White’s well-struck free-kick curled past goalkeeper Luke Southwood only to hit the crossbar and away to safety.
Reading at last awoke and ventured forward, with a low cross from Andy Yiadom blocked for a corner.
From John Swift’s resultant set-piece, centre-back Scott Dann – scorer of Reading’s equaliser against Nottingham Forest on Saturday – nodded high over the bar.
Reading gradually upped their tempo and, from a precise Danny Drinkwater centre, Baba Rahman narrowly failed to connect at the far post.
United showed the most intent at the start of the second period with Gibbs-White blazing a shot well over.
Southwood then saved smartly from Bogle, only for him to get the better of the goalkeeper 11 minutes into the second half.
McGoldrick crossed from the left and Reading-born Bogle, running in unopposed at the far post, volleyed home for his first goal of the season.
When play resumed after the Fleck incident, Reading frantically attempted to find an equaliser.
The closest they came, despite 13 minutes of stoppage time, was when substitute Andy Carroll let fly from 30 yards and United keeper Wes Foderingham did well to palm it away.