Everton cruised into the fifth round of the FA Cup, but their 4-0 victory against Stevenage was overshadowed by a horrific injury to Bryan Oviedo, who it has been confirmed suffered a double fracture to his lower left leg.
The 23-year-old's left leg crumpled after he was caught by Stevenage midfielder Simon Heslop in the 18th minute as he was attempting a shot on goal at the Lamex Stadium.
The Costa Rican international was taken to hospital and now looks set for a lengthy spell on the sidelines which will more than likely see him missing this summer’s World Cup, where Costa Rica are due to play England.
Oviedo caught the full force of Heslop's right boot as he attempted to shoot and the midfielder fell awkwardly, twisting his leg.
Television replays showed the midfielder's leg was bent almost at a right angle as he lay in agony.
Several players rushed to Oviedo's aid, but some turned away in horror at the severity of the injury before waving towards the bench for assistance.
After just over three minutes of treatment, Oviedo was carried off the pitch on a stretcher to a standing ovation from all corners of the ground.
Toffees boss Roberto Martinez sped up his post-match media duties to head to the hospital and see his player, but he did tell BT Sport: "A real negative is the unfortunate incident and we end up with Bryan picking up a bad injury.
“We need to give him as much support as we can as he had a terrific season.
"I have been so impressed with his level in different positions.
“He's a really important player and we want to make sure everything goes well."
Bryan has broken two bones in his left leg. He will remain in hospital over the weekend and have an operation on Monday. #GetWellOviedo— Everton (@Everton) January 25, 2014
Everton, who were 1-0 up at the time thanks to Steven Naismith's goal, did not let the incident affect them as they strolled to a comfortable 4-0 win.
Aiden McGeady, making his first start since signing for Everton earlier this month, played a major role in Naismith's opener when the Ireland winger squared for the Scot, who turned home from six yards.
Naismith found the net again before substitutes Johnny Heitinga and Magaye Gueye finished the rout against the Sky Bet League One side.
Martinez will be pleased to have avoided an upset at Stevenage, who beat Newcastle at the Lamex Stadium three years ago, but there will be deep concern for Oviedo, who has impressed recently for the Merseysiders.
The serious injury to one of his key players is the last thing the Everton manager needs ahead of Tuesday's Merseyside derby, especially as he already has seven first-team players out through injury.
Everton's injury list already includes Seamus Coleman, Antolin Alcaraz, Ross Barkley, Steven Pienaar, Gerard Deulofeu, Darron Gibson and Arouna Kone before Saturday's win.
Phil Jagielka came off at half-time, but Martinez said that was a "precautionary" move and the Spaniard expects his centre-half to be fit for Tuesday.