South Korean footballer Lee Seung-mo is recovering in hospital after breaking his neck and a finger in a horrific injury playing for Gwangju FC in the K-League playoffs.
The defender, 20, crumpled after landing awkwardly while challenging for a header in the third minute of his team’s game against Daejeon Citizen.
WARNING: GRAPHIC IMAGES
The match referee rushed over to the defender, quickly followed by medical staff and concerned players as the seriousness of the injury immediately became apparent.
Lee lost consciousness and was rushed from the Daejeon stadium pitch in an ambulance.
Full footage of the horror fall can be seen on YouTube.
It was later confirmed that Lee had broken three vertebrae in the shocking fall, as well as fracturing a finger in his left hand.
The club’s Instagram account has posted pictures and footage of the South Korean Under-23 international sitting up in his hospital bed, offering reassurances that the injury was not as bad as first feared.
He is expected to remain in hospital for several weeks, and will be out of action for around three months, the club said in a statement.
The player himself also posted a picture as he receives treatment, thanking fans, fellow players and medical staff for their support after the sickening fall.
Lee’s Gwangju team lost the game 1-0 after an Aurlien Chitu second-half goal for the home team.
The defender was part of the South Korean team that won gold at the recent Asian Games in Indonesia, alongside Tottenham star Son Heung-min.