Barnsley striker Iain Hume claims he 'could have died' after being elbowed by Sheffield United defender Chris Morgan.
The clash in last weekend's South Yorkshire derby left Hume needing emergency surgery on a fractured skull while Morgan was shown a yellow card.
The 25-year-old Canada international, who also suffered internal bleeding, remains in hospital and is expected to be out for the rest of the season.
Hume suffered the injury in the 31st minute and claimed he had already spoken to referee Andy D'Urso about Morgan's physical approach.
"I pleaded with the referee to give me some protection. I could have died," he told the Sunday Times.
"I feel disappointed that he [Morgan] did not get a red card.
"I had complained to the referee earlier about being elbowed.
"I feel very angry about what happened to me," Hume added.
"I feel very, very upset because what I went through was potentially a life-threatening experience."
Barnsley's medical staff initially thought Hume had suffered only concussion and sent him home, but later tests discovered a fractured skull.
"Last Saturday night the signs were that I was suffering from concussion," Hume said. "It was only through the passage of time that I deteriorated.
"Subsequently a brain scan revealed the injuries were dangerous, and I became an emergency. Then my immediate thoughts were about my family and what effect this would have on them.
"Having thoughts like that is a horrific experience."