January 29, 2022

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news and update

Sharks star reportedly placed in induced coma

2 min read
Sharks forward Andrew Fifita has reportedly been placed in an induced coma, after he was...

Sharks forward Andrew Fifita has reportedly been placed in an induced coma, after he was hit in the throat during Cronulla's loss to Newcastle yesterday.

Fifita was taken to Royal Brisbane Hospital last night after he complained of trouble breathing.

The Sydney Morning Herald reports he's been placed in an induced coma to assist with breathing, made more difficult due to severe swelling of the larynx.

It is understood he is in a stable condition, and hospital staff are hopeful of waking him later today to work out the next step in his treatment.

It's expected he'll require surgery which will end his season, and possibly place his career in jeopardy.

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It's not immediately clear when Fifita suffered the injury, although he did receive treatment after an incident in the final minute of the first half of the match in Redcliffe, when he was tackled by Kurt Mann and Sauaso Sue after a hit-up 30 metres out from his own line.

He received treatment from the trainer before walking from the field.

While no player has yet been charged over Fifita's injury, in releasing the judiciary charges earlier today, the NRL noted that due to the match being held at a "non-standard venue", all available angles of incidents are not available to the match review committee in the normal timeframe.

That being the case, the judiciary chairman has allowed an extension until 10am Tuesday for the match review process to be completed.

It was only when Fifita was seen in the care of paramedics on the sideline after full-time that it became apparent he was seriously injured.

"After the match Andrew reported difficulty swallowing. He was also noted to have a hoarse voice at this time and his care was escalated to the paramedics with a suspected laryngeal injury," the Sharks said last night.

"He was taken via ambulance to hospital, where a significant laryngeal injury was confirmed. Andrew remains in hospital, where he is receiving the best possible care. The Sharks will provide further updates when they become available."

The 32-year-old made his first grade debut for Wests Tigers in 2010, before joining the Sharks in 2012. He scored the match-winning try in Cronulla's drought-breaking 2016 grand final victory, and has also represented New South Wales, Australia and Tonga.

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