Detectives are appealing for information after a report of a paramilitary-style assault in the Green End area of Newtownabbey on Saturday night.
The area is by the flats near the road in and out of the loyalist Rathcoole estate, which has a strong UDA presence.
Detective Chief Inspector Julie Mullan said: “Shortly before 11:55pm, it was reported that a man in his 20s was walking along a street in the area when he was attacked by three masked men armed with what are believed to have been pick axe handles.
“The man received suspected fractures to his hand and knee during the incident. He was taken to hospital for treatment to his injuries.
“This was a brutal attack of a man in a residential area. Those involved do not represent the interests of the local community and contribute nothing to it. This is another example of how criminal groups seek to control communities through fear and violence.
“Enquiries are ongoing and we would appeal to anyone who witnessed the incident or who saw anything suspicious in the area to contact detectives on 101, quoting reference number 2183 15/06/19. Alternatively, information can also be provided to the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 which is 100% anonymous and gives people the power to speak up and stop crime.”