Cronulla forward Andrew Fifita has been taken to a Brisbane hospital after copping a hit to the throat in his team’s 16-14 NRL loss to Newcastle at Redcliffe.
Fifita reported difficulty swallowing and had a hoarse voice after a blow to the throat in the second half of the game.
Around 20 minutes after the game ended, Fifita was brought out of the dressing sheds and onto the field where he was examined before being taken to hospital by ambulance.
The Sharks confirmed to AAP Fifita had suffered a significant laryngeal injury and was undergoing further treatment in hospital.
They could not provide a further update on his condition, but confirmed Fifita’s wife Nikki is with him as he receives care.
The 32-year-old played just 13 minutes of the game, coming off in the 39th minute for a head injury assessment after colliding with Kurt Mann’s shoulder while taking a hit-up.
He was cleared of a head injury in the sheds at halftime, but was taken off the field again in the 46th minute and did not return.
It follows a heartbreaking loss to the Knights that has left the 10th placed Sharks scrambling to make finals with three rounds to play.
The Sharks face Wests Tigers, Brisbane and Melbourne, needing to win all three to be assured of a spot in the top eight.
“We’ve just got to front up next week with the same attitude … our attitude is first-class,” said coach Josh Hannay after the game.
“They’re a good footy side Newcastle.
“We’ve got a patched up footy team.
“There’s a lot to be said about fronting up with the right attitude.
“We’ll add some polish and finesse to our game and these tight losses will become wins.”