FC Dallas midfielder Ryan Hollingshead sustained three broken vertebrae in his neck when he was hit by a car on an icy road, but he will not need surgery and there is no risk of spinal cord damage.
According to a release issued Monday by the club, Hollingshead was struck on Friday night in the Dallas suburb of Irving, after stopping to assist another motorist who had wrecked due to the icy conditions.
Hollingshead was released from a hospital Sunday. He is recovering at home and will have to be in a neck brace for six to eight weeks.
“The entire FC Dallas family is thinking of Ryan and his wife, Taylor,” FC Dallas president Dan Hunt said in the club's news release on the accident. “We are praying for a swift recovery and are looking forward to seeing him back on the pitch for our club.”
Hunt later spoke with Fox4 News about the incident, explaining that "what was scary is he said for the first 10 seconds he had no feeling in his entire body, and then it started coming back." Teammate Tesho Akindele also talked with Hollingshead at the hospital and called it a "kind of a miracle" his injuries weren't more serious.
"He said he got hit about 30 feet in the air, landed, and his first thought was, 'I'm probably dead. I'm dead or I'm paralyzed,'" Akindele said.
Hunt said he believes Hollingshead should be able to return to the field by April. On Monday, FC Dallas tweeted a heartwarming photo of the midfielder recovering with his infant son, Huck.
Hollingshead is the second MLS player to suffer an injury in a car accident this offseason. Vancouver Whitecaps defender David Edgar suffered a knee injury after a hit-and-run car accident in Arizona, and needed surgery that will keep him out for at least part of the 2017 season.