WATCH: Breakers player Akil Mitchell suffers horrific eye injury

27/01/2017



Breakers basketballer Akil Mitchell can see out of his seriously damaged eye, despite suffering a horrific injury during an on-court incident.

Mitchell took to Twitter on Friday morning to assure fans he was in good spirits, writing: "Thanks for all the love, well wishes, and prayers tonight. I'm home and seeing fine, more tests tomorro."

Late on Thursday night Mitchell was able to sit up in hospital and there are hopes his vision may not have been permanently damaged in the gruesome injury, which saw his eye dislodged from its socket.

Breakers general manager Dillon Boucher said a specialist had assessed Mitchell in hospital and “while there is some damage, the early reports are very positive that the injury is not as serious as first feared”.

Mitchell was sitting up and resting and had vision in his injured eye, Boucher said.

“Akil’s immediate recovery has been such that he is being released to return home, but will undergo further medical tests.

“This is obviously the best possible news after what was a frightening situation,” Boucher said.

“I would like to thank all the fans also for their messages of support, we will update further once we have more information, but this is good initial news for Akil, our thoughts and prayers continue to be with him for a full recovery.”

The horror eye injury cast a dark shadow over the home team's 94-81 NBL loss to Cairns.
American forward Mitchell fell to the floor in agony early in Thursday's final quarter when a freak incident resulted in his left eyeball coming out of its socket.

The injury, caused by an innocuous poke to the eye when he contested a rebound, left his teammates visibly upset, along with fans near the baseline.

Some Breakers players gathered in a huddle to say a prayer for the former University of Virginia player.


Akil Mitchell led off the court by Breakers teammaates and staff (Getty)

The game was halted for about 15 minutes before the 24-year-old returned to his feet and was assisted from the North Shore Events Centre, his head covered by a towel.

He was taken by ambulance to hospital for treatment.

Nobody from the Breakers was immediately available for comment but Taipans captain Cameron Gliddon passed on his wishes.

"It was really hard to see a player go down like that, it's hard to watch and we all send our thoughts to Akil," he said.

Mitchell was easily the Auckland team's best performer at that point with 13 points and 10 rebounds.

The Breakers struggled to lift after his exit, with an eight-point deficit ballooning out to 15, from which they never recovered.

Gliddon, who shot a game-high 26 points, said the period after the injury was pivotal.

"I think we responded really well. We got a few stops and got a few buckets."

Cairns were deserved winners, completing a 4-0 sweep of the Breakers to climb from seventh to a mid-table berth with an 11-12 record.

The Breakers' (12-13) four-match winning streak grinds to halt.

Newshub.