Newcastle manager Glenn Roeder says the surgeon who operated on Shay Given has likened the goalkeeper's injury to one familiar with a car crash.
Given felt the full force of a Marlon Harewood challenge
Given sustained a one-centimetre tear in his bowel when he slid in for a ball with West Ham's Marlon Harewood.
"The surgeon said he has never seen an injury like this through football," said Roeder.
"He has seen it happen in car crashes where there has been impact - I suppose that is what has caused it this time."
Newcastle won the game 2-0 at Upton Park, but Given is expected to be out for at least six weeks after the initial diagnosis.
This is not about us rushing him back or anything like that
He was rushed to hospital after suffering severe abdominal pains but Roeder cleared Harewood of any blame.
"Shay would be the first to admit when he sees the pictures that Marlon Harewood thought he had an opportunity to get to the ball," added Roeder.
"I suppose if it was Shola (Ameobi), we would have expected Shola to try to get to the ball if his team was losing 2-0. Shay being Shay, as brave as he is, was not going to turn away and not go for the ball.
"He went for the ball, both of them were trying to get the ball fairly and unfortunately, Shay came off worst."
Steve Harper will step in as first-team keeper and Roeder insists he will not rush Given back.
"It is a question now of waiting for Shay to get fit again," he said.
"But this is all about Shay, this is not about us rushing him back or anything like that.
"He will be given all the time he needs and all the help he needs by the club to make a full recovery, which he will do - and in the meantime, we are lucky to have Steve Harper."