Sharks prop Andrew Fifita has been placed in an induced coma and is scheduled to undergo surgery on Tuesday after suffering a fracture to his larynx.
Cronulla officials reported on Monday night that Fifita was in a stable condition after experiencing breathing difficulties following Sunday's loss to Newcastle at Redcliffe and being admitted to the Royal Brisbane and Women's Hospital.
"He is receiving the best possible care and all going well, it is expected he will recover in hospital for an extended period," the Sharks said in a statement.
"After conferring with specialists today at the Royal Brisbane and Women's Hospital, the Sharks can inform that Andrew has suffered a laryngeal fracture and is currently in an induced coma.
"Andrew is in a stable condition, with a surgical correction scheduled to take place tomorrow [Tuesday] afternoon."
Episode 25 - Trbojevic's cheekbone latest, Eels slide continues, Fifita in ICU
Continued swelling in his throat led to doctors sedating the 32-year-old former international, whose wife Nikki has been by his side since Sunday night.
Fifita's wife Nikki and his family have expressed their appreciation to those who have sent messages of support and offered well wishes.
His twin David, who plays for Super League club Wakefield, posted a statement on social media on Monday.
"On behalf of the Fifita family, I would like to thank everyone for their support, concern and kind words during this difficult time that we face," the statement said.
"As a family we ask everyone to please respect our privacy and allow Andrew and everyone the space to heal and recover.
"In saying this I would like to thank Cronulla Sharks and the NRL for helping support our family in Queensland through this time."
Match Highlights: Sharks v Knights
Fifita's all but certain to miss the rest of the season and his career is under serious threat heading into the final season of his contract with Cronulla.
He had been treated by paramedics at the ground on Sunday evening and admitted to hospital for further treatment.
"After the match, Andrew reported difficulty swallowing. He was also noted to have a hoarse voice at this time and his care was escalated to the paramedics with a suspected laryngeal injury. He was taken via ambulance to hospital, where a significant laryngeal injury was confirmed," the Sharks announced.
Fifita's issues only exacerbate a front-row shortage for the Sharks as they fight to keep their finals hopes alive against Wests Tigers on Saturday.
Cronulla has the option of pursuing a short-term loan player from a rival club like Canterbury did last week with Ryan James and Corey Horsburgh, however Sharks officials struggled to land a replacement half when conducting a similar search in recent weeks.
Starting prop Aiden Tolman is facing a two-week suspension for a cannonball tackle on Knights opposite Daniel Saifiti, who suffered medial ligament damage in his knee from the incident and will miss 3-5 weeks.
Saifiti out for 3-5 weeks, McCullough done for the season
Cronulla teammate Braden Hamlin-Uele can take an early guilty plea and $750 fine for his high tackle on Connor Watson, but the Sharks will still be scrambling for big men given Royce Hunt has not returned to their Queensland bubble after the birth of his first child.
A long-term foot injury for Franklin Pele (foot) has further depleted their forward stocks, though second-rower Teig Wilton (hamstring) is a chance of returning in round 23 which would allow Jack Williams back to shift into a middle role.
Former Raiders forward Kai O'Donnell will come into contention for bench spot against the Tigers just weeks after signing a train and trial deal for the rest of the year.