A gruesome injury that left New Zealand Breakers forward Akil Mitchell with an eye dislodged from his socket plunged the North Shore Events Centre into a horrified silence, with coach Paul Henare and teammates stunned during Thursday's game.
Mitchell, former player for University of Virginia, was poked in the eye by an opponent while going up for a rebound in the fourth quarter.
According to the Australian Associated Press, Mitchell remained on the ground for nearly 15 minutes after his left eye ousted from its socket. An extremely graphic video of the injury can be seen below.
The forward was immediately treated on the court before being rushed to Auckland hospital where specialists diagnosed a small amount of damage to the 24-year-old's eye.
"The early reports are very positive that the injury is not as serious as first feared," the club's general manager Dillon Boucher said. "Akil's immediate recovery has been such that he is being released to return home, but will undergo further medical tests tomorrow."
"This is obviously the best possible news after what was a frightening situation."
Mitchell left the court with 13 points and 10 rebounds from the home team's loss 94-81 NBL loss to the Cairns -- making him one of Auckland team's best performer prior to the injury.
Luckily, Mitchell is making a speedy recovery. He took to Twitter to reassure fans that he is "home and seeing fine."
👀... too soon? Lol thanks for all the love, well wishes, and prayers tonight. I'm home and seeing fine, more tests tomorrow
— akil mitchell (@ajmitchell25) January 26, 2017