SYDNEY : Former Australia international Andrew Fifita has been placed in an induced coma and will have surgery later on Tuesday after fracturing his larynx in a National Rugby League (NRL) match at the weekend.
The 32-year-old prop, who played seven tests for the Kangaroos, took a blow to the throat while playing for the Cronulla Sharks against the Newcastle Knights in Redcliffe on Sunday and later experienced problems breathing.
Fifita was treated by paramedics at the ground before being taken to the Royal Brisbane and Women's Hospital, where doctors sedated him.
"The Sharks can inform that Andrew has suffered a laryngeal fracture and is currently in an induced coma," Cronulla said in a statement late on Monday.
"Andrew is in a stable condition, with a surgical correction scheduled to take place (on Tuesday) afternoon. He is receiving the best possible care and all going well, it is expected he will recover in hospital for an extended period."
Fifita's twin brother David, who plays in England with Super League club Wakefield, issued a statement on social media on behalf of the family.
"I would like to thank everyone for their support, concern and kind words during this difficult time that we face," he posted on Instagram.
"As a family we ask everyone to please respect our privacy and allow Andrew and everyone the space to heal and recover."
(Reporting by Nick Mulvenney, editing by Lincoln Feast.)