A basketball player whose eyeball popped out during a game is recovering from the stomach-churning ordeal and has even joked about it on Twitter. Akil Mitchell, a New Zealand Breakers forward, was competing in the Australian Basketball League when an opponent's finger was driven into his eye socket and dislodged his eye.

"With the palm of my hand I felt my eyeball on the side of my face. I could still see out of the eye." he told New Zealand's Radio Sport. "

"I remember thinking oh man... this is kinda bad, but I actually felt it kind of out of place and that's when I kind of freaked out a little bit."

Remarkably, Mitchell kept his cool throughout the nightmarish ordeal. Teammates and medical staff rushed to help the American and he was escorted from the court with a towel over his head to shield fans from the ghastly sight.

Thankfully Mitchell's eye was quickly re-inserted and he has reported no complications to his vision in the aftermath of the event.

He said: "Once I got in the ambulance they gave me a little pain medicine and some saline drops in my eye and I felt it slide back into place, which is also a really strange feeling. It felt so good to be able to blink again, which is insane."

The 6.5ft athlete even had the temerity to joke about the incident on Twitter. He posted an emoji of two eyeballs, accompanied by the words: "Too soon? Lol thanks for all the love, well wishes, and prayers tonight. I'm home and seeing fine, more tests tomorrow"

Akil Mitchell
Akil Mitchell of the Breakers is helped off the court by his team with an eye injury during the round 17 NBL match between the New Zealand Breakers and the Cairns Taipans at the North Shore Events Centre in Auckland, New Zealand Anthony Au-Yeung/Getty Images