The former Premier League striker who turned out for West Ham, Newcastle United and Chelsea collapsed during a seemingly harmless challenge with another player. Ba fell to the ground though after his leg got tangled with his opponent's while his studs were in contact with the turf.
It was immediately apparent that Ba had seriously injured himself, and memories of former Arsenal forward Eduardo's horror break from Martin Taylor's challenge and Aaron Ramsey’s injury came to mind while the Shanghai forward experienced immense pain. Ba was replaced by Obafemi Martins after seven minutes of treatment on the pitch while the players and fans watched on with concern.
Ba was playing for Shanghai Shenhua in a derby match with Shanghai SIPG and his coach was understandably stricken after the match. Gregorio Manzano said he feared for Ba's career.
"It could end his professional career, I would rather lose the game than lose Ba. Football is unfair sometimes to let such a terrible thing happen to such a good man... That was the kind of terrible foul that could end a player's career. We played a wonderful second half, and the victory is for Ba. The players have to work harder in the upcoming matches due to Ba's absence."
The Senegalese striker is the division's top scorer with 14 goals in 18 games this season and has been crucial for the Chinese Super League team. The 31-year-old has been in consistent goalscoring form since his super-sub tenure with Chelsea, netting 27 goals in 44 games for Besiktas before making an impression in a Chinese league now laden with cash.
Though born and raised in France, Ba chose to represent Senegal and has 19 international caps to his name.
His former club Chelsea were quick to send their wishes to the stricken player, as his Twitter feed was flooded with messages,
His side would go on to win the derby 2-1 but it must have been scant consolation. Shanghai Shenhua are 5th in the Chinese Super League, 17 points behind leaders Guangzhou Evergrande. How they will cope without Ba, often their best player remains to be seen. Ba has already won the Chinese FA Cup’s Most Valuable Player award and was also the top scorer in the cup competition with 6 goals. in 5 appearances in a tournament that his team eventually finished as runners-up in.