Everton midfielder James McCarthy has suffered a horrific double leg break after Salomon Rondon accidentally kicked his leg in an attempted shot on goal.
The Baggies had been in a 1-0 lead in Saturday's Premier League clash from the seventh minute when Jay Rodriguez's goal had silenced Goodison Park.
In the 58th minute, McCarthy's attempts to block a shot resulted in West Brom striker Rondon kicking his opponent's calf at full strength instead of the ball.
Potentially a double leg break for James McCarthy. Football is cruel sometimes, wishing him all the best with his recovery. pic.twitter.com/d2qGKrp1iI— Everton Fans Corner (@FansCornerEFC) January 20, 2018
Initial fears were that the Republic of Ireland international, 27, may have suffered a double leg break in the Premier League clash and Everton manager Sam Allardyce confirmed the worst at full-time.
The Toffees' official account tweeted shortly after accident: "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."
Rondon was in floods of tears and visibly devastated by the incident, having to be consoled by West Brom manager Alan Pardew.
After a couple of minutes of medical attention, McCarthy was stretchered off with substitute Wayne Rooney replacing him for the Merseyside club.
Everton forward Oumar Niasse - another second-half substitute - equalised on the 70th minute for the hosts, assisted by £20 million January signing Theo Walcott.
With a point in the bag, Everton will now hope that McCarthy can begin the long road to recovery and that it won't be a career-ending injury.
"James has fractured his tibia and fibula," he told reporters. "He's paid a heavy price for his bravery and commitment. It's a big blow for him and us."
An unfortunate clash with Saloman Rondon looks to have seriously injured James McCarthy. Rondon in floods of tears despite being blameless.— Gary Lineker (@GaryLineker) January 20, 2018
Rondon, whom Pardew praised for playing on after the incident despite his evident distress, shared his horror at causing the injury later in the evening and wished McCarthy a swift recovery.
"Absolutely devastated," he tweeted. "Rivalries are forgotten about when a colleague suffers such an unlucky injury. Really hope to see you back playing again soon, [James McCarthy]."
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 Glasgow-born central midfielder has been with Everton since 2013 when he joined for £13m from Wigan Athletic, linking up with former manager Roberto Martinez.
It's been an injury-plagued season for McCarthy, who was playing only his fourth Premier League game of 2017-18 due to successive knee and hamstring problems.