From fractured bones to pulled muscles, sports injuries come in types. But they don’t come much more gruesome than having your eyeball pop out of its socket.
Akil Mitchell’s eyeball came out of its socket during an Australian NBL game.
An American basketball player’s eye popped out of its socket after he was poked in the face while going for a rebound during a game in New Zealand.
Akil Mitchell, a 24-year-old former University of Virginia forward, was playing for the New Zealand Breakers in a game against Cairns on Thursday when the accident happened.
The game was stopped for 15 minutes while Mitchell was treated by medical officials, with his teammates left visibly upset by the incident.
Cairns won the National Basketball League game 94-81.
Mitchell said in a Facebook Live interview posted by The Breakers the next day. “I felt like I just got poked in the eye so I opened my eye and I’m looking up and I can see everything, my eye’s still moving, but it’s kind of out.
“I don’t know if it was the most painful thing I’ve ever felt, but it was just weird. Just a weird sensation, a weird feeling.”
Remarkably, Mitchell says his vision has been unaffected, admitting that “everything felt pretty normal” a few hours after Nnanna Egwu’s hand had come into contact with his eye.
In fact, the doctors didn’t even believe what had happened when he arrived at the hospital; the eyeball had since moved back into its socket in the ambulance.
“After maybe five or ten minutes it kind of felt like it was moving back into place,” said Mitchell. “And then in the ambulance on the way over when I was high on the gas … I just had this feeling of release and I could blink again.
“The specialist on call – I don’t think he believed me. He was asking to see video. He didn’t see any damage and he was just trying to validate that it had come out of place. Everybody there was like ‘yes, it came out.’
“I can’t really describe what it felt like. I was kind of like a suction … My eye was so dry from being open all the day, I was just like ‘this is great, I can blink.’”
On Friday, Mitchell said he had no vision impairment, but won’t be watching any videos of the incident.
“(Teammate) Paul (Carter) really wanted me to see it and I was like, ‘I can’t do it,’” Mitchell told the New Zealand Herald on Friday. “It kind of makes my eye throb a little just thinking about it, so I don’t know if I’ll ever be able to watch it.”