A basketball player has suffered a horrendous injury to his eye, as his horrified teammates and the audience looked on. Akil Mitchel, a forward with the New Zealand Breakers, was seen falling to the floor as his left eyeball came out of the socket during a challenge. An opponent’s finger accidentally became lodged in his eye, pushing it out of its place.

His shocked teammates and opponents rushed to his side, but many had not idea what to do to help him. Team physios then dashed over to him and he was treated for around quarter of an hour on the court before they placed a towel over his face and took him off.

Thoughts and prayers

Breakers teammates, deeply disturbed by the incident, were then seen praying for their colleague, as he was taken to hospital for further treatment. Incredibly, despite his terrifying ordeal, he later tweeted to say that he was back home, fine, and awaiting further tests. His team, clearly shaken up by what had happened went on to lose the match 94-81.

They had been given the option to postpone the match, but their injured teammate told them they ought to go ahead with the game. Breakers assistant coach Mike Fitchett said it had been difficult to carry on, but players were happy to go ahead with the match. Meanwhile, their rival, Taipans captain Cameron Gliddon said his team was sending their thoughts to Akil.

Akil has now spoken out about the moment he felt his left eye come out of the socket. He said: “With the palm of my hand I felt my eyeball on the side of my face. I could still see out of the eye.” He went on to say that he felt “freaked out” when he realised that it was out of place.