Phil Hughes has undergone surgery and remains in a critical condition after suffering a sickening blow to the head during the Sheffield Shield match between New South Wales and South Australia at the SCG.
Hughes was taken by ambulance to St Vincent’s Hospital in Sydney after the incident on day one of the match. At approximately 5.20pm, the hospital confirmed that Hughes was out of surgery and remained in a critical condition in the intensive care unit. ESPNcricinfo understands Hughes was in an induced coma after surgery to relieve pressure on his brain.
At approximately 4.15pm hospital spokesman David Faktor had addressed the media and said Hughes was in surgery having arrived at the hospital on life support.
“He arrived in a critical condition and remains in a critical condition. He is undergoing surgery as we speak,” Faktor said. “When he arrived he underwent a set of scans to establish the extent of his injuries and then a decision was made to perform surgery … All I could confirm is that he did sustain a head injury and that he is in a critical condition at the moment.
“I understand he was ventilated at the scene and arrived at St Vincent’s already ventilated and on life support and he underwent scans and then he went to surgery.”
Tim Nielsen, South Australia’s high performance manager, was at the hospital and said the outcome of the surgery was not likely to be known for some time.
“As you’re aware Phil Hughes was injured today and he’s undergoing surgery,” Nielsen said. “The outcome of that surgery is unlikely to be known for 24-48 hours, we ask you to respect the privacy of his family and friends.”
The Cricket Australia CEO James Sutherland said: “We were all in shock and … pleasingly there was medical attention he was able to receive immediately at the ground and then to be transported to hospital and now we hope that whatever the procedure is that he’s going through, he comes through in the right way and gets the best possible care and recovery.
“It’s difficult for [the players] being there and they’re all very close to Phil. He’s a really popular guy, not just here but around the world … Everyone knows and understands the way he plays his cricket. He’s fiercely determined, extremely proud of his achievements and I guess he’s a quiet achiever, but has the respect of all of his team-mates.”
Hughes was taken to hospital after a sickening blow to the head left him motionless on the SCG pitch on day one of the match. Three ambulances and a medivac helicopter attended to 25-year-old Hughes after he was struck midway through the day. Play was suspended when he left the field and then abandoned after he was conveyed to St Vincent’s Hospital by ambulance. Players and officials were comforted at pitchside as Hughes was treated.
Hughes had made 63, playing well against his former state and in contention for the spot to be vacated by the injured captain Michael Clarke in the team for the first Test in Brisbane next week.
But in trying to push along his score, Hughes attempted a hook at the fast medium of Sean Abbott about 2.23pm, and was hit as he turned his head to one side, a blow that drew blood. Too quickly through his shot, Hughes was struck on the left rear side of the head, below the helmet.
For a few moments he stood, bent over head down and reeling from the impact before collapsing, face first, onto the pitch – a second hefty blow to the head in itself. Distressed players gesticulated for assistance and team medical staff were quickly out onto the field, where Hughes was tended to before a motorised stretcher carried him, still motionless, from the ground.
Play was suspended as he was treated in front of the Members Stand by the Cricket NSW doctor John Orchard, receiving mouth to mouth and also oxygen while players and officials waited for the arrival of an ambulance. David Warner stood by Hughes’ side for much of this time, while his Redbacks batting partner Tom Cooper removed his pads.
Three ambulances eventually arrived, the first about 2.50pm, while a medivac helicopter also landed in the middle of the SCG. Efforts to get Hughes breathing again appeared to be successful, and it was eventually decided to take him to hospital by ambulance, which left the ground about 3.05pm en route for St Vincent’s Hospital.
Andrew Jones, the Cricket NSW chief executive, said Hughes was receiving “the best available care”. “He received immediate treatment at the ground led by CNSW and CA Chief Medical Officer Dr John Orchard,” Jones said. “He was then taken to hospital by ambulance and is receiving the best available care.
“For privacy and accuracy reasons we are not in a position to discuss the medical details and we would be grateful if you would respect the privacy of the Hughes family and all the players at this time. Players and staff from both South Australia and New South Wales are obviously very concerned for Phil’s health and, like Phil, are receiving appropriate support.
“Phil grew up in NSW and is a former Blue and is held in the highest regard by his current and former team-mates. The thoughts and prayers of all at Cricket NSW and indeed everyone in Australian ricket are with Phil the very best for a speedy and full recovery.”
The South Australian Cricket Association released a statement on Hughes: “On behalf of the SACA Board and administration, our thoughts and prayers are with Phil Hughes and his family at this time. (ESPNcricinfo)