FC Dallas midfielder Ryan Hollingshead thought he was paralyzed after being struck by a car on Jan. 6.
Hollingshead, who was hit by a vehicle while helping another driver who had crashed in icy conditions, suffered three broken vertebrae in his neck after being launched into the air by the impact of the accident.
And the 25-year-old told the Dallas Morning News on Wednesday that he feared the worst.
"My head didn't get hit at all, so I remember it all very vividly," Hollingshead said. "It felt like I was in the air way longer than I was, I'm sure. It felt like I was in the air for a minute.
"But I was spinning, so I didn't see anything because it was dark and I was spinning. It would be like if you were spinning in a circle. You see things, but nothing makes sense. It's all just a blur.
"Then I just remember hitting the ground and landing and thinking, 'Am I OK? Can I move?' And I couldn't, originally. So for 10 seconds I sat there thinking, 'Oh, I'm paralyzed, for sure.' And I slowly started getting feeling back in my hands and feet and I'm thinking, 'Yes, thank you, Lord.'"
Hollingshead was the second MLS player to be injured in a car accident in the span of a month, after Vancouver defender David Edgar was involved in a hit-and-run on Dec. 17. Edgar suffered a knee injury and will be sidelined until the fall.
Police estimate the car that struck Hollingshead was traveling between 40 and 50 miles per hour. And in describing the incident, he said there was little time to react.
"I had no time to react," Hollingshead said. "The only thing I could think to do was just turn and try to flex and keep my body taut. That way I'm not flailing around."