Every so often, sports throws up incidents or accidents that are horrific beyond belief – and caught on camera.
Broken legs or ankles on the football pitch that see the limb bend at right angles. Hyper-extended elbows, or shoulders that pop out of their sockets. The list goes on, and all of it is terrible to watch.
American basketball player Akil Mitchell joined the list of horror sports injuries in Auckland last night.
The ex-Virginia college player suffered what can only be described as a sickening eye injury in the final quarter of the New Zealand Breakers NBL clash against the Cairns Taipans.
A video of the incident can be watched below, but with a warning: it's pretty damn tough to watch.
New Zealand Breakers player Akil Mitchell sustained a horrific eye injury in Auckland last night. Source: Youtube.
The 24-year-old power foward coped a poke to the eye, which saw him collapse to the ground. As he lay on the court in agony, cameras showed that one of Mitchell's eyeballs had been dislodged from its socket.
Mitchell was quickly surrounded by players and medical staff, and taken from the court after a 15-minute delay with a towel wrapped around his face. He was then taken to Auckland Hospital.
Incredibly, Breakers general manager told the New Zealand Herald last night that, Mitchell has retained his vision.
"Akil is sitting up and resting, and has vision to his injured eye," Boucher says.
"While there is some damage, the early reports are positive that the injury is not as serious as first feared."
Following the delay in play after the injury, NBL officials approached the Breakers to ask if they wished to suspend the game.
Yet, before he went to the hospital, Mitchell encouraged the match to proceed.
"Akil was in the changing room and said to Pauli, 'Make sure we win the rebound battle'," Mike Fitchett, the Breakers assistant coach, told media.
"The guys wanted to keep playing - they knew that's what Akil would have wanted in that situation. Obviously it's very difficult to carry on when you see something like that, but the guys did an admirable job."
Mitchell joined the Breakers last August, having previously trained with the Houston Rockets, Brooklyn Nets and New York Knicks in summer leagues.