Republic of Ireland and Everton midfielder James McCarthy suffered a double fracture of his leg during Everton's home game against West Brom.
The incident occurred when McCarthy executed a brave last-ditch tackle on Salomon Rondon as the West Brom attacker bore down on goal.
Rondon was about to pull the trigger when McCarthy nipped in to tackle him and the striker kicked McCarthy instead. The Baggies forward was left in tears after seeing McCarthy in such distress.
The Irish international was stretchered off and Everton confirmed that McCarthy had suffered a double fracture of his right leg.
Everton boss Sam Allardyce has described McCarthy's double leg break as an "awful injury".
West Brom manager Alan Pardew said everyone on the pitch was affected by the injury - particularly Rondon, who had accidentally kicked the Everton player.
"Salomon was traumatised," said Pardew. "He heard the break..... that affected him because he is that kind of person."
60' Heart-breaking moment for James McCarthy as he is stretchered off with what looks like a broken leg after a last-ditch challenge. Thoughts with James. #EFC— Everton (@Everton) January 20, 2018
The midfielder has struggled with hamstring injuries over the past 18 months and hasn’t played for Ireland since the 3-1 World Cup qualifying win over Moldova back in October 2016.
Rondon later published a tribute message to McCarthy on his official Twitter page, in which he wished his Everton opponent a speedy recovery.
"Absolutely devastated. Rivalries are forgotten about when a colleague suffers such an unlucky injury. Really hope to see you back playing again soon."
Absolutely devastated. Rivalries are forgotten about when a colleague suffers such an unlucky injury. Really hope to see you back playing again soon, @JMcCarthy_16.#GetWellSoonJames pic.twitter.com/pamazH8fCO— Salomón Rondón (@salorondon23) January 20, 2018
The message was well received by Everton fans, who praised Rondon for his humility in the thread beneath the Tweet.