Senegal striker Demba Ba suffered a harrowing injury in action during a Chinese Super League match on Sunday. 

The 31-year-old former Chelsea attacker was playing for Shanghai Shenhua versus Shanghai SIPG, when a 64th minute tackle from Sun Xiang saw the striker’s leg twist and give way beneath the knee, breaking his left leg as he collapsed to the ground.

The former Newcastle, West Ham and Chelsea frontman completed a GBP£11.3-million transfer to Shanghai Shenhua from Beşiktaş last year, and has since been a top performer in China.

The Senegalese player is the current season’s top scorer with 14 goals in 18 appearances.

Demba Ba scores a penalty in a shoot out during the second leg of a UEFA Europa League match between Besiktas and Liverpool at the Ataturk Olympic Stadium on February 26, 2015 in Istanbul © Richard Heathcote/Getty

Ba’s team went on to win the encounter 2-1, but his coach was more concerned about the well-being of his star striker, worrying that the shock injury may be career-threatening.

Referring to the injury, Shenhua coach Gregorio Manzano told the media after the game: ‘It could end his professional career. I would rather lose the game than lose Ba.’

Ghana's Afriyea Acquah vies for the ball with Demba Ba during the international friendly football match between Senegal and Ghana on March 28, 2015 at the Oceane stadium, in Le Havre, north-western France © AFP/Charly Triballeau/Getty

Former club Chelsea tweeted their support for the player too:

TRUE Africa wishes Demba Ba a speedy recovery and return to the game.