A Sri Lankan man was hospitalised with serious injuries after allegedly being assaulted in Nagambie in the early hours of Saturday.
Aadil Rafeek, 29, is recovering in a Melbourne hospital from head injuries caused by an alleged one punch attack.
Police said the incident occurred outside the Royal Mail Hotel just after 1am.
It is understood the Sri Lankan-American migrant was enjoying a night out with friends when the incident happened.
Nagambie police Sergeant Shane Johnson said Mr Rafeek was knocked unconscious when he fell and hit the back of his head on the concrete after allegedly being hit.
The victim was taken to Goulburn Valley Health in Shepparton, before being flown to The Alfred hospital in a critical condition where he had emergency surgery.
A friend of Mr Rafeek’s, Brendan Lawley, said Mr Rafeek had lived in Australia for more than six years on a permanent residency, and hoped to gain his citizenship in March.
Mr Rafeek recently moved to Nagambie for a job with Nagambie Rowing Club, acquired through a regional sponsorship for skilled workers.
‘‘At the moment he is stable and he can talk in short bursts,’’ Mr Lawley said.
‘‘The doctor said it would take a minimum of six weeks to recover. He has no ambulance membership, which means he is left with a bill worth thousands.’’
The Alfred confirmed Mr Rafeek was in a stable condition.
Police arrested a Nagambie man, 18, after the alleged incident, who was later released on bail.
The man has been charged with recklessly causing injury and unlawful assault and will appear in Seymour Magistrates’ Court on February 8.
Police are still investigating the incident.