Hull KR prop Mose Masoe is facing a long and slow road to recovery from the spinal injury he sustained in a friendly match at Wakefield, according to the club's owner Neil Hudgell.
The 30-year-old Samoa international and former Roosters and Penrith player remains in Leeds General Hospital, where he underwent surgery following his admission on Sunday afternoon.
Speaking to BBC Radio Humberside, Hudgell said: "What looked like an innocuous challenge, something you see on the field 50 times a year, has turned into something significantly more serious.
"Mose is a giant of a man in many respects and a much-loved character around the club with a huge smile on his face and is hugely respected. For him to stay down and not to move was a sure-fire sign that things were not quite right.
Mose had surgery to relieve pressure on his spine and Hudgell said the initial prognosis was positive.
"The surgeon was happy with the outcome of the surgery but with that type of injury, it is a long, slow road to recovery," he said.
"There will not be anything definitive for a long time. The injury is causing a lot of angst and distress to everybody at the club and everyone within the game has expressed much love and support."
The Rugby League Benevolent Fund paid for Masoe's family to fly over from Australia to be at his bedside and a JustGiving page has already raised more than $A20,000.
"Mose is very much a family man," Hudgell added. "He has two beautiful girls aged six and four, and his wife is having another baby in July and they are at the centre of his first thoughts.
"Having seen him in hospital, he is a very inspirational character - he is laid down with a smile on his face asking how everyone else is, how the boys are getting on. Our focus is restoring Mose as much as we can."