Diego Maradona has offered words of support to both stricken Argentinos Juniors midfielder Ezequiel Ham and Boca Juniors star Carlos Tevez.
Ham suffered a sickening break to his right tibia and fibula in a challenge with Tevez during a Primera Division match on Saturday that Boca won 3-1.
Tevez offered a heartfelt apology after the game and was pictured visiting Ham in hospital on Tuesday, while the Argentine Football Association confirmed that the former Manchester City and Juventus forward would not face any retrospective punishment for the tackle.
Global footballing icon Maradona, who was in charge of Tevez as Argentina manager at the 2010 World Cup, cited his own recovery from a serious injury in a message of encouragement to Ham on Facebook.
“To overcome injuries so serious you have to have great character and I am sure you will come back stronger than before,” he said. “And Tevez is not a bad person.
“I also had an injury like that when I played for Barcelona. And then I recovered great, winning a World Cup in 1986. I wish you a fast recovery.”
Tevez has largely been backed by his fellow professionals since the incident but Argentinos coach Nestor Gorosito accused him of going into the challenge with Ham with an intention to hurt the player – something Maradona was keen to dismiss.
“Instead of speaking ill of Tevez he should think about more work for the good of his club,” he added.
“Throughout his career Carlitos has never hurt anyone and always leaves the soul on the field.”