Republic of Ireland defender Richard Keogh was allegedly left behind by two Derby County teammates who fled after they were all involved in a car crash.
When the pair realised he was not with them, they returned and were arrested on suspicion of drink-driving.
Tuesday night's crash in Derbyshire has left Keogh (33) with a serious and career- threatening knee injury.
He had been travelling in the back of team-mate Tom Lawrence's Range Rover when it was in collision with fellow player Mason Bennett's car before smashing into a lamppost.
Claims have now emerged that Lawrence (25) and Bennett (23) fled the scene, leaving father-of-one Keogh alone, unconscious and injured.
They are said to have immediately returned to the scene on realising he was not with them.
It was then that Bennett and Lawrence were arrested and charged with drink-driving.
The pair are due to appear in court next month.
An individual close to Derby County spoke about the accident in a leaked WhatsApp recording that has gone viral.
"Tom came flying behind [Mason] in his SVR. He was going so quick that he smashed into the back of Mason's car which spun and flipped round," it said.
"Tom's car then carried on and crashed into a lamppost on the other side of the road.
"Richard was in the back of the car which had all of Tom's gear in it. So Richard was sat on loads of stuff with no room on the back seat and his legs were up and on the side.
"His knees were to the side too. And they smashed into the car. He's f**ked himself and smashed his face up as well."
The source said Keogh's team-mates left the scene and drove to a flat in Bennett's damaged car before realising their captain wasn't with them.
"They then drove back to the crash and there were ambulances and police and they got arrested and got let out yesterday at 3pm."
Ireland manager Mick McCarthy has been plunged into a defensive crisis, with Shane Duffy also expected to miss next month's crucial Euro 2020 qualifiers away to Georgia and Switzerland.
Derby confirmed Keogh will be out for the season and will pay a "heavy price" for his actions.
Keogh is said to feel personally responsible for the crash.
Derby manager Phillip Cocu told BBC Radio Derby: "I think he feels responsible, yes.
"More senior players always have to step up and take responsibility.
"It's an early stage to say, but if we say he'll be out for the rest of the season."