updated 10/16/2008 7:32:19 AM ET 2008-10-16T11:32:19

Two Mormon missionaries were attacked and stabbed while returning to their apartment in a suburb of Sydney, Australia.

In a statement, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints said Chris M. Collinsworth, 19, and David A. Ferguson, 21, "suffered multiple non-life threatening stab wounds in an unprovoked attack..." Both were hospitalized.

A state police spokeswoman, who spoke to The Associated Press on the police policy condition of anonymity said that Collinsworth and Ferguson were attacked by three unknown men, who made no demands of the two missionaries.

Alisa Collinsworth said her son was stabbed in the back near his kidney. She said Ferguson had the tendons cut in his hand and needed surgery. Efforts by The Associated Press to reach Ferguson's family were unsuccessful Wednesday.

Chris Collinsworth is a forward for the church-owned Brigham Young University basketball team who played his freshman season before going on the two-year mission. He's been in Australia for nearly six months, his mother said.

'Slammed'
Alisa Collinsworth said her son called home early Wednesday.

"He said they were just walking him home when all of a sudden he just gets hit from the side, just slammed," his mother said.

Chris Collinsworth said he fought back, but told his parents that several men jumped on top of him. He got stabbed at some point during the "dog pile," his mother said.

Alisa Collinsworth said her son told her that Ferguson was cut and injured when he jumped in to get the attackers off his companion. Ferguson bled profusely and Collinsworth used a tie to make a tourniquet, his mother said.

Alisa Collinsworth said her son told her he was also held from behind and his shirt pulled over his head while several people kicked him in the face and stomach. The attack ended when a motorist pulled up and started yelling and pounding on his horn, she said.

'A calm, put-together kid'
Chris Collinsworth was released from the hospital Wednesday and told his parents he was ready to get back to missionary work, his mother said.

"He's a just a calm, put-together kid," she said.

A Westmead Hospital spokeswoman was unable to provide details of Ferguson or Collinsworth's conditions.

Church officials are working with the Australian authorities on the case.

The state police said they retrieved "a number of items for forensic examination," from the crime scene.

© 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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