The sickening image of Danny Cipriani in agony yesterday as he clutched the shin from which, as the picture shows, his foot looked as if it had become detached, is something that I'm finding hard to shake off today.
I still can't look at the picture without feeling a tad queasy but, nevertheless, I've been drawn back to it several times already today as if it has some kind of control over me.
I realise that I probably shouldn't show the picture, that it's in poor taste to indulge oneself (no matter how uneasily) in another's agony - but I have to admit to a sort of sick fascination with injuries such as this. Maybe it's the thought that something like this could so easily happen to any one of us who play the game - "there but for the grace of god" etc etc - or perhaps, like the public at large, it really does just come down to a morbid curiosity. You only have to look at the newspaper coverage of incidents like this and similar injuries in the world of football (Alan Smith for Man Utd a couple of years ago and Eduardo for Arsenal this season both spring to mind) to see that there is a public appetite for this kind of thing and I'm sad to say that I am not immune to it.
Fortunately (touching wood several times) I have neither experienced nor witnessed an injury quite so horrific on the rugby field. I'm not sure how I'd react if I did.
With news that Cipriani will be out of action for at least six months, all I can say is that I wish him a full recovery and I look forward to witnessing further displays of his genius again on a rugby field in the not too distant future.