A quick-thinking player prevented Oleh Husev from swallowing his tongue after the Ukraine international was knocked unconscious.
Saturday’s Ukrainian Premier League match between Dynamo Kiev and Dnipro Dnipropetrovsk had to be stopped midway through the first half following a collision involving Husev and the Dnipro goalkeeper.
Husev had been struck in the head by a knee and laid unconscious on the ground, reportedly not breathing.
Play continued but Jaba Kankava saw something was wrong and sprung to his aid, flipping Husev onto his back and pulling his tongue out of his throat to unblock his airway.
Other players and medical staff soon rushed to the scene and Husev regained consciousness before being escorted from the field and taken to hospital.
The Dynamo Kiev club website reported that Husev had suffered a mild concussion and a fractured jaw in the incident.
Gazeta Sporturilor of Romania is reported to have quoted the head of the hospital that treated him as crediting Dnipro midfielder Kankava with helping save the 30-year-old’s life.
In a similar incident, Chelsea captain John Terry required medical attention during the 2007 League Cup final when he swallowed his tongue after being accidentally kicked in the face by Arsenal’s Abou Diaby.
Meanwhile, a 19-year-old Jordanian player named Qusai Emad Al-Khawaldeh died in November after swallowing his tongue.