Canberra striker Corey Harawira-Naera has been released from hospital after collapsing and suffering a seizure during his side’s NRL game against South Sydney.
Harawira-Naera says he is “on the mend” but “not clear yet” and will undergo further tests to shed light on the chilling incident at Sydney’s Accor Stadium.
Shortly after being hit in the second half on Saturday night, Harawira-Naera looked disoriented and fell to the grass.
The match was halted for more than 10 minutes as medical staff rushed onto the pitch and attended to the New Zealand international, who had started to convulse.
Harawira-Naera was aware and responsive as he was carried from the pitch in a medicab amid a standing ovation from the crowd.
Raiders star Corey Harawira-Naera was treated by medical staff after suffering a seizure during the team’s win over South Sydney in harrowing scenes
The Raiders striker (pictured left trying to escape the clutches of Damien Cook during the game) has thankfully been released from hospital since
He was stretched off the pitch before being rushed to hospital as the footballing world reeled in shock
Harawira-Naera went by ambulance to Westmead Hospital with his sister, who was watching the match.
The New Zealand international was released around 3.30am on Sunday morning and shared a video update on his condition around eight hours later.
“I’m back on the road to recovery, not clear yet, but we’ll get more scans and sort it out,” Harawira-Naera said.
“Health comes first, but obviously I hope to get back on the pitch as soon as possible.”
Harawira-Naera thanked those who showed their support after the medical episode.
“I was lucky to get a lot of messages about what happened last night,” he said.
“I’m much better now, so I love you all.”
No player was more worried about Harawira-Naera on Saturday night than teammate Albert Hopoate, who shared a room with the second rower for three years.
Medicos sprung into action as soon as Harawira-Naera fell behind the game
The pair are close, facetiming or catching most days, and the Raiders winger was visibly distressed when Harawira-Naera went down.
“Obviously it was pretty scary at the time,” Hopoate told AAP.
“You don’t expect something like this to happen, especially in a game. There aren’t many words.
Canberra captain Jarrod Croker gave up on the competition as his team-mate lay on the ground.
“During this whole period, I don’t think anyone thought about football, to be honest,” he said.
“Everyone was watching over Corey and doing everything we could.”
Raiders manager Ricky Stuart has praised his and South Sydney players for rushing to Harawira-Naera’s side after he fell.
The players surrounded the 28-year-old to give medical staff privacy while they worked on him.
Players on both sides were clearly in distress as medics attended to the Kiwi star and surrounded him while he was treated on the ground to give him privacy.
“That’s where you see the true character of these footballers,” Stuart said.
“When one of the boys falls, it doesn’t matter what team he’s on, everyone understands it’s a serious situation.
“There was a lot of care for him. It is appreciated by all our players and our club, the way the boys from the South also handled the situation.
“Nobody likes to see these types of serious scenes.”
The Raiders regrouped after Harawira-Naera walked off the field and vowed to continue playing in his honor, ultimately triumphing 33-26.
“Jarrod Croker is our leader and Jamal Fogarty, those two are really good leaders and they always know what to say in times like this,” Hopoate said.
“We got together after that and said we would do it for Corey, and we did it.”