Phillip Hughes falls to the ground after being struck in the head by a delivery during day one of the Sheffield Shield at the Sydney Cricket Ground.
Phillip Hughes falls to the ground after being struck in the head by a delivery during day one of the Sheffield Shield at the Sydney Cricket Ground. Mark Metcalfe

Cricketer Phil Hughes to undergo brain scans

CRICKETER Phillip Hughes will undergo brain scans on Wednesday to determine the extent of the injuries he suffered when he was struck on the head by a bouncer at Sydney Cricket Ground.

Australian team doctor Peter Brukner said the 25-year-old batsman remained in a critical condition in St Vincent's Hospital.

"He will have further scans later on today and we hope to be able to provide you with some more information following the scans," Dr Brukner told reporters.

Hughes remains in an induced coma in the hospital's intensive care unit.

The cricketing world is rallying around Hughes, from his junior club in country NSW to the Indian Test team, Fairfax reported.

Hughes' mother and sister are keeping vigil by his bedside, while his father is expected to arrive in Sydney on Wednesday from the family home in Macksville, on the NSW mid-north coast.

Australian captain Michael Clarke and wicketkeeper Brad Haddin visited the hospital early on Wednesday.

Messages of support have poured in from around the world for the left-hander, who is due to celebrate his 26th birthday on Sunday. 

  Family wait as batsman Phil Hughes fights for life

FRIENDS and family of Phillip Hughes continue to wait for an improvement in his condition after he was left fighting for his life after being hit in the head by a bouncer at the SCG.

Hughes was rushed into surgery at St Vincent's Hospital on Tuesday to relieve pressure on his brain and was in a critical condition in intensive care overnight.

An update on Hughes' condition is not expected until Wednesday or Thursday, Cricket NSW says.

The Sheffield Shield match between South Australia and NSW was abandoned when the Redbacks batsman was struck in the head, just below the line of the helmet, by a Sean Abbott bouncer during the second session on day one.

After Cricket NSW doctor John Orchard performed CPR on the former Test opener on the boundary line, he was rushed to hospital in an ambulance.

The 25-year-old made his first class debut for NSW in 2007, playing five seasons for the Blues, and he had friends in both dressingrooms for the clash.

Players and official from both states have been offered counselling and have rallied around each other.

NSW players showed immediate concern for Hughes, including his good mate and former Test opening partner David Warner.

With Australian selector Mark Waugh watching on in the SCG stands, Hughes had made a well-timed 63 off 161 balls before he was struck down.

Michael Clarke is expected to miss next week's opening Test at the Gabba having failed to recover from his troublesome hamstring injury and Hughes was in the running to replace him in the batting lineup.

Urgent medical attention gives Hughes best chance

Speed is vital in treating a violent head injury of the kind suffered by Phil Hughes, to minimise any further damage caused by bleeding, inflammation or reduced oxygen supply.

The brain is like a blancmange inside a wooden box and it is secured in the skull by veins no bigger than those on the back of your hand. A blow to the head can sever a blood vessel with relative ease.

After collapsing on the pitch yesterday, Hughes was given mouth-to-mouth resuscitation and was mechanically ventilated with oxygen in the ambulance on his way to hospital.

There he will have had a brain scan to identify the site of his injury and whether it had caused a bleed.

A major bleed creates a pool of blood between the meninges - the membranes that surround the brain - which presses on the brain, reducing the blood supply to the area affected.

Unless this pressure is relieved it may lead to permanent brain damage, coma and death.

Emergency surgical treatment, which involves drilling through the skull to drain the blood and relieve the pressure, is life-saving and can prevent permanent damage.

In some cases a section of skull is temporarily removed to create a space into which the inflamed brain can swell without raising the intracranial pressure. The section of skull is later replaced.

A spokesman for St Vincent's Hospital in Darlinghurst, where Hughes was treated, said the surgery lasted less than an hour and the cricketer had been given drugs to place him in a temporary coma.

This can be vital if ruptured blood vessels are unable to deliver the usual amounts of oxygen and nutrients, as a comatose brain needs less oxygen to function.

Hughes is also likely to have been given diuretics to reduce the fluid in his body and anti-seizure drugs to prevent him suffering a fit which could cause additional damage.

The spokesman said it would be 24 to 48 hours before the outcome of surgery was known.

New Zealand cricketers offer their support

New Zealand's cricketers were shocked by the news of the terrible injury suffered by Australian batsman Phil Hughes in Sydney yesterday.

The news stunned the Black Caps on the eve of their third test against Pakistan in Sharjah, with several players taking to social media to offer messages of support for Hughes and his family.

Former captain and senior Black Caps batsman Ross Taylor tweeted his concern, saying: "Thoughts are with Phil Hughes and his family. Get better soon mate."

Fellow batsman Corey Anderson echoed those sentiments, tweeting: "Never nice to see or hear about other players getting seriously hurt. Thoughts are with Phil Hughes and his family.

Get well soon."

Hughes remains in critical condition after surgery

UPDATE: Phil Hughes is now out of surgery and in a critical condition in intensive care at St Vincent's Hospital.



South Australian Coach Tim Nielsen told the media they may not know the full results of the surgery for 24 to 48 hours. 

4:00 PM: ST Vincent's Hospital spokesman David Faktor has confirmed Phil Hughes is undergoing surgery and is still in a critical condition.

The family of Phil Hughes have released a statement through South Australia Cricket's Tim Neilson

"He is presently undergoing surgery and the outcome of that surgery is unlikely to be known for the next 24 to 48 hours.

"In the meantime we would ask, we would be really appreciate it, if you would look after the family and the friends and respect their privacy."

The South Australian Cricket Association (SACA) has released a statement  saying the board's thoughts and prayers are with Phil Hughes and his family.

Australian cricket captain Michael Clarke also arrived at St Vincent's a short time after the incident.

EARLIER: THERE are serious concerns for the health of Macksville product Phil Hughes after he was felled by a bouncer during a Sheffield Shield clash today.  

Fighting to regain a spot in the Australian Test team, Hughes was struck on the side of a head by a bouncer before momentarily composing himself then fell face first into the SCG turf.  

A helicopter with medical staff was called to the ground to take the 25 year-old away to St Vincents Hospital where it's believed he's in a critical condition.   

Having made an unbeaten 63 for his adopted South Australia to that point before attempting to play a pull shot from a delivery by Sean Abbott when he was struck.    

After the blow, Hughes stood for some time while looking at his feet and then crashed face-first onto the pitch.  

Medical staff were working on Hughes 30 minutes after the delivery struck him and eventually three ambulances arrived on the ground to administer assistance.  

The helicopter arrived at the ground with another doctor to assist. Hughes was breathing through an oxygen mask.