Sydney Swans AFL youngster Isaac Heeney has described the unprovoked king hit that left him with 16 screws and four plates in his jaw as a "cowardly act."
News Corp reported Heeney was left with a broken jaw after being punched from behind while getting into a cab in Hong Kong.
The 19-year-old returned to Australia on Monday from what was an end-of-season trip with 12 teammates to have scans and surgery.
The attack occurred on Sunday morning while the group toured markets, leaving Heeney expressing his shock in an Instagram post.
"Never thought I would be a victim of such a cowardly act," he posted.
"Ended up with four plates and 16 screws, but I'm so blessed that it is all and I am not in a coma or worse."
He promised fans a speedy recovery, writing: "I'm on the mend and will be flying soon."
Swans football manager Tom Harley said he expected Heeney to be ready for day one of pre-season training in November.