Up to 10 people were involved in the "brutal" assault in Rutherglen, South Lanarkshire, yesterday.
The victim is being treated for serious injuries at the Victoria Infirmary in Glasgow.
Officers have appealed for witnesses to the attack at about 5.30pm in Lochiel Lane.
Detective Sergeant Susie Cairns said: "At this time we believe that there were at least six but possibly up to ten people involved in the attack on this man.
"Whether it was a targeted attack or not has still to be established. We have been checking CCTV and carrying out door-to-door enquiries to establish exactly what happened.
"This brutal attack took place in the middle of the afternoon. There were people within the street or out of their house watching the attack at the time, therefore there is no doubt that the answer to what has taken place and why lies within the community.
"It is essential that we work together to identify those responsible so I would ask anyone with information to contact Cambuslang CID 101 or in confidence to Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111."