27 Jan 2017

Breakers player feels 'blessed' after eye injury

6:06 pm on 27 January 2017

New Zealand Breakers player Akil Mitchell, who suffered an horrific eye injury during last night's game, says it's a miracle he did not lose his sight.

Akil Mitchell says he feels "blest" despite suffering a serious eye injury.

Akil Mitchell says he feels "blessed" to have escaped more serious damage to his eye. Photo: Photosport

The injury happened during a contest in the air between the Breakers' American player and a Cairns Taipans player in the final quarter of their ANBL game in Auckland.

After hospital treatment and consulting with eye specialists this morning, a bloodshot but otherwise fine Mitchell spoke to media this afternoon.

"Initially it just felt like I got poked in the eye, and I just though 'oh this is going to be a bad one', and kind of fell to the ground and felt my eye out of its socket - and that's when I think I kind of started freaking out a little bit."

The attention he had from everyone helped him stay calm, particularly from Breakers doctor Mike Rosenfeldt, he said.

"I'm looking up and I can see everything, my eye's still moving but it's kind of 'out here', it feel like. I touched it and immediately wanted to push it back in but was like 'that's a bad idea'.

"But, yeah, I could still see, I could still move it, never lost vision, never got blurry - thank god - and it's doing much better today."

He said nobody had to push the eye back into place.

"After maybe five, 10 minutes, it kind of [was] moving back into place and then in the ambulance on the way over - kind of high on the gas, whatever pain meds they give you - I remember just feeling it just release and I could blink again and it was good, good to go.

"I really do feel like, as serious as the injury could have been, for everything to be OK and for me to be able to see you guys today and to joke about it, last night is something I can only describe as a miracle."

Mitchell said he had not seen videos of the injury and doubted he could ever watch them.

"It kind of makes my eye throb a little bit thinking about it so I don't know if I'll ever be able to watch it but, yeah, I don't know."

While he had a bit of a headache today, he said he just felt like he had been punched in the face and hoped to be able to play next week as the Breakers looked to make the playoffs.

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