Akil Mitchell 'seeing fine' after eyeball pops out

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[January 27, 2017]    (Reuters) - American basketball player Akil Mitchell said he was "seeing fine" after his eyeball popped out after a freak incident while playing for the New Zealand Breakers this week.

Mitchell, from North Carolina, was accidentally poked in the left eye by an opposing player in a game in Auckland on Thursday and video footage showed the eyeball out of its socket.

Virginia Cavaliers forward Akil Mitchell (25) drives to the basket against Michigan State Spartans forward Matt Costello (10) during the first half in the semifinals of the east regional of the 2014 NCAA Mens Basketball Championship tournament at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Adam Hunger-USA TODAY Sports

"With the palm of my hand I felt my eyeball on the side of my face," he was quoted by New Zealand's Radio Sport.

"I could still see out of the eye."

The 24-year-old was taken to hospital for treatment and is not thought to have sustained any long-term damage.

Mitchell posted two eyeball emojis on his Twitter feed and said he was "seeing fine" although he was due to undergo more tests.

Describing the aftermath of the incident he said: "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."

"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."

(Reporting by Martyn Herman, editing by Ed Osmond)

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