James Ward-Prowse says Southampton’s players will give Tino Livramento all the support required to return “bigger, better and stronger” from his horror knee injury.
England Under-21 defender Livramento received oxygen and was carried off on a stretcher after collapsing to the ground in the first half of Sunday’s 2-2 Premier League draw at Brighton.
Saints are still waiting to discover the full extent of the problem, which manager Ralph Hasenhuttl described as appearing “very, very serious”.
Captain Ward-Prowse salvaged a point with a long-range double after the visitors had fallen 2-0 behind at the Amex Stadium and dedicated the equaliser to his stricken team-mate by making a T sign with his fingers.
“I think everybody was a little bit shook up and shocked from what we saw,” Ward-Prowse told the club website.
“Of course we don’t know the extent of the injury at the moment but I think that moment spurred us on in the game and we wanted to get back in the game for him.
“When he joined the club in his first few weeks, he didn’t say a single word to anyone and I was thinking, ‘oh, come on’. But he’s really come out of his shell.
“His performances have excelled everybody’s expectations, I think.
“It’s a real big shame but it’s up to us now to get behind him and support him and give him everything he needs to come back bigger, better and stronger.”
Danny Welbeck’s second-minute finish and a calamitous own goal from Mohammed Salisu looked set to condemn Southampton to a sixth defeat in eight league games.
The premature departure of former Chelsea academy player Livramento – after he twisted awkwardly while attempting to challenge Seagulls midfielder Enock Mwepu – came between those two goals.
Ward-Prowse halved the deficit from a free-kick deep into first-half added time which came as a consequence of the injury, before drilling home from the edge of the D early in the second period following a smart lay-off from Oriol Romeu.
The England midfielder now has 14 career top-flight free-kick goals – four behind his childhood hero David Beckham, the Premier League record holder.
“If I do get that record, hopefully he’ll reach out – but there’s a long way to go just yet,” Ward-Prowse said of Beckham, speaking to BBC Sport.
Brighton were on course to break the club’s Premier League points record before being pegged back.
Albion – whose current tally of 41 is the same as they managed in their previous two seasons – require a single point from their remaining four fixtures to make a small piece of history, while they also retain hope of a maiden top-half finish.
This week marks 25 years since the Seagulls’ last match at the Goldstone Ground when the club were on the verge of relegation from the fourth tier.
They beat Doncaster 1-0 that day before scraping survival a week later with a 1-1 draw which sent down opponents Hereford.
Head coach Graham Potter admits Tuesday’s anniversary puts Brighton’s current position into perspective.
“We’re aware of how far we’ve come and I remember there must have been bad times because I played against Brighton, so you must have been bad,” he said.
“We’re aware of (chairman) Tony Bloom’s influence really and how much he’s done and helped us.
“That’s why we’re appreciative and fight for every single Premier League point because we know how quickly it can turn the other way.
“You always want to get better and want to do more and we’ve got four games to try and get more points.”