The former Central Coast Mariners keeper was playing in the Europa League with his Belgian side Genk just days after signing a new two and a half year deal with the club.

But as he fearlessly went to ground for the ball to stop a Slavia Praha shot early in the second half, onrushing Genk team-mate Sébastien Dewaest collided with the Aussie, slamming his knee into the 33 year old's chest.

The blow left Vukovic fighting for breath and slamming the ground in pain as medics rushed to his side where he was treated for several minutes before he was stretchered from the field and taken to hospital for x-rays amid fears of broken ribs from the collision.

Despite Vukovic rolling on the ground in agony, the goal scored moments after Vukovic's injury was allowed to stand, giving Slavia Praha a 2-1 lead, and the match finished 4-1.