UPDATE: Raiders forward Corey Harawira-Naera was discharged from Westmead Hospital at 3.30am on Sunday after suffering an on-field seizure.
He confirmed as much in a video message shared by the club just before midday.
« I want to thank the club, the boys from both teams, our medical staff as well as the Rabbitohs medical staff, the paramedics, the doctors, » Harawira-Naera said.
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« As well as all the footy fans, family, friends, I’ve been pretty fortunate to receive a lot of messages about what happened last night.
Star speaks after scary on-field collapse
« I’m doing a lot better now. I’m not in the clear yet but we’ll get some more scans and figure it out. »
The Raiders outlasted the Rabbitohs 33-26 at Sydney Olympic Park, but the win played out as a sub-story after the game was brought to a long halt in the 66th minute.
About 30 seconds after taking a hit-up, Harawira-Naera had a fit, hit the deck and was seen convulsing, before Raiders and Rabbitohs players gathered to block the public from seeing the distressing scenes.
A medicab was ordered onto the field and the 28-year-old was stretchered off to the applause of players and those in the crowd.
« An update on Corey — he’s improving and feeling better and will hopefully be discharged from hospital and return home to Canberra (on Sunday), » the Raiders said in a tweet.
« We will provide further updates early in the week.
« Thanks everyone for your concern and thoughts tonight. It’s much appreciated. »
Raiders coach Ricky Stuart was quick to get on a walky-talky in his box and made his way down to the ground shortly after, before describing the scenes as « awful » following the game.
« I just spoke to the doctor. He said he’s had a seizure and they’re unsure in regards to why. It doesn’t seem to be of any contact to the head, so they’re at a bit of a loss at the moment in regards to why it occurred, » Stuart told Fox League.
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« He’s off to hospital now and obviously all our thoughts and prayers are with him.
« His family can understand he’s in the best care. The medical staff here have done a wonderful job so far … He’s off to hospital now, he’s in good hands, so for his family to hear that … I hope it shines some light.
« We often say that we’ve got a very close bunch here. The comradery and spirit amongst them is very high. You could see how they shielded Corey when he was on the ground, they didn’t want anybody to see what he was going through, that’s a form of protection in its own.
« I was very proud of the win, but I’m more happy that Corey is conscious and in good hands.
« They are situations that are very uncommon and they’re scary, » Stuart added in his press conference.
« And when it’s one of your mates it makes it even harder. »
Raiders veteran Josh Papalii was visibly shaken by the incident.
« It was definitely one of the scariest things I’ve seen on a footy field over my playing, » Papalii told Fox League.
« My heart goes out to Corey. I really hope he’s OK and doing well.
« He sort of replied at the end that he was OK before he was being wheeled off.
« My thoughts and prayers are with Corey at the moment. »
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