Moments of pure fear are rare in sport. In fact, there aren't many that come along and make the hearts of players and fans skip a beat.
But when Spanish Atletico Madrid footballer Fernando Torres prepared to receive a ball from the sky only to be roughly knocked from behind by Deportivo de La Coruña midfielder Alex Bergantiños in the clubs' match on Thursday, one of those moments was horrifyingly born.
Torres was knocked out in the clash as he hit the ground, landing directly on his face. For a second, his team mates and opposition seemed unaware of the seriousness of the blow -- all except for two.
Atletico Madrid defender Sime Vrsaljko and midfielder Gabi immediately jumped to help Torres, opening his mouth to clear his airways before team medics were rushed on-field to assist.
In a moment of sheer instinct and bravery, the pair reacted in what club doctor Carlos Larino has called the "perfect" way to help.
"Gabi even took a bite from Fernando when opening his mouth," he said, according to the Sydney Morning Herald.
"What he and Vrsaljko did was perfect."
You can watch the incident unfold below.
Players from both sides were visibly distraught following the impact as Torres was treated by medics on the field.
He was later transported to hospital on a stretcher in a stable condition to receive scans.
"It wasn't a good movement... But situations like this unfortunately can happen in the game. We hope the best for Torres," Atletico Coach Diego Simeone later told media.
"Everybody was speechless in the dressing room because of what happened," Torres' team mate Antoine Griezmann also said.
Atletico Madrid have since tweeted out saying the Spanish forward remains stable and is conscious and that he will spend the night in hospital after undergoing CT scans.
.@Torres suffers a head injury. He was rushed to the hospital to undergo tests. He will spend the night in hospital for observation.— Atlético de Madrid (@atletienglish) March 2, 2017
Thanks for the messages of support for @Torres. He's stable and conscious. He'll spend the night in hospital and undergo more tests tomorrow— Atlético de Madrid (@atletienglish) March 2, 2017
Good news (1/2) @Torres has undergone a cranial and cervical CT. There are no alterations nor traumatic injuries— Atlético de Madrid (@atletienglish) March 2, 2017
Fans were also quick to take to social media to express their reactions to the incident and wish him well in his recovery.
Watching Fernando Torres head injury for Athletico Madrid today was terrible hope for a speedy recovery.— Izaiah ⚽️ (@Emberized) March 3, 2017
Just got to watch the terrible injury that Fernando Torres suffered last night. All i can say is get well soon.— Archak Sengupta (@archaksg) March 3, 2017
Torres was later released from hospital with no serious injuries.
BREAKING: Atletico Madrid striker Fernando Torres has been released from hospital after his head injury. https://t.co/8IpaQkOzzo— ESPN FC (@ESPNFC) March 3, 2017
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