Police have launched an attempted murder investigation after the 33-year-old was attacked in Greenock while walking down Bawhirley Road with three friends.
The two men and two men were walking down the street when a car pulled up next to them.
After a short time, a passenger in the vehicle got out and attacked the man before the car drove away.
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No one was injured in the incident but the 33-year-old man was taken to Queen Elizabeth University Hospital by ambulance.
Medical staff have described his condition as serious but stable.
Greenock CID Detective Sergeant Grant Bowie said: “The occupants of the car were approaching the group when, for unknown reasons, the passenger got out and attacked one of the men.
“At this point we are not certain whether or not the suspect has returned to the vehicle. So if you see someone running off the street, please contact the police.
“Although the attack took place in the early hours of the morning, we hope that someone living or walking by the street saw or heard something that may assist our investigation.
“If you have any doorbell or dashcam footage that may have recorded the attack, or any information about the incident, please contact police.”
Witnesses can contact the police on number 101, citing file number 0063 from April 10.