Middlesbrough's Emmanuel Pogatetz has been told to take three months out of the game or risk losing his sight.
Pogatetz is suffering from nose, cheek and hernia injuries
The Austrian full-back broke his nose and cheekbone in an accidental clash with Basle's Mladen Petric in last week's Uefa Cup quarter-final win.
He had surgery to have the breaks reset last week, with consultant Dr Douglas Bryan "delighted" with his progress.
But Boro physio Grant Downie said: "He should be back for pre-season training, but he can't risk playing before then."
The clash with Petric came just two weeks after he suffered a nasty eye injury in a clash with Bolton striker Kevin Davies.
And Downie added: "It is anticipated he will make a full recovery. The only disappointing thing for Manny is that he won't be able to play football, and he was desperate to get back involved.
"But another blow to his face would risk severe trauma and a potentially eyesight-threatening injury."
Pogatetz will take advantage of the break however, to undergo yet more surgery to cure a hernia problem.