SHANGHAI, China, July 18 – Former Chelsea striker Demba Ba suffered a horror broken leg in the Shanghai derby at the weekend, with his coach warning the injury could end the 31-year-old’s playing career.
The Senegalese former Premier League marksman, who now plays for Shanghai Shenhua, tangled with Shanghai SIPG captain Sun Xiang as they both raced for the ball in the second half of Sunday’s Chinese Super League clash.
Sun’s leg hooked onto Ba’s, instantly snapping the limb and sending him crashing to the ground as it flopped loosely, gruesome television footage showed.
Shenhua, who won the match 2-1, described the injury as a broken leg and said the incident was “unfortunate” in a statement released on Monday.
Shenhua coach Gregorio Manzano told local media that Ba, who also played for Newcastle and West Ham in England, would be out for at least seven months.
“If I can choose, I’d rather lose the match than lose Demba Ba,” Manzano was quoted as saying by the Shanghai Daily newspaper.
“Football is unfair sometimes to let such a terrible thing happen to such a good man… That was the kind of terrible foul that could end a player’s career.”
SIPG’s coach, the former England boss Sven-Goran Eriksson, expressed sympathy, according to the Shanghai Daily, saying: “It was a bad injury. I’m very sorry for Ba.”
Ba’s former club Chelsea posted a message of support on their official Twitter feed.
“All at Chelsea FC send our best wishes to former striker @dembabafoot. Get well soon Demba.” it said.