A man suffered a blood clot on his brain and a broken cheekbone after being attacked in the centre of Brighton at the weekend.
The 29-year-old was the victim of what Sussex Police described as a vicious assault.
Detectives have issued an appeal for witnesses to the attack outside the American Apparel and Purple Heart shops in North Street just before 6am on Saturday (14 July).
The man was taken to the Hurstwood Park Neurosciences Centre in Haywards Heath for treatment.
Detective Constable Ed Smith said: “This was a vicious assault and we want to establish exactly what happened, including during the time running up to it.”
Anyone who saw the attack or has other information is asked to call Sussex Police on 101 or contact the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.
Two men from Brighton – aged 23 and 24 years old – and a 27-year-old man from Lewes were arrested on suspicion of assault causing grievous bodily harm. They were bailed until Monday 8 October.