Australian rugby league's Fifita 'in induced coma'

Brisbane (Australia) (AFP) –


Former Australia and Tonga rugby league international Andrew Fifita was reportedly in an induced coma Monday after suffering a serious throat injury.

The Cronulla Sharks veteran was hurt by a tackle late in the first-half of their National Rugby League clash against the Newcastle Knights in Brisbane on Sunday.

He left the field for a concussion check and returned in the second-half, only to come off five minutes later.

His club said he was having difficulty swallowing after the match.

"He was taken via ambulance to hospital, where a significant laryngeal injury was confirmed," it added in a statement. "Andrew remains in hospital, where he is receiving the best possible care."

The Sydney Morning Herald and Sydney Daily Telegraph both reported Monday that he has since been placed into an induced coma to assist with his breathing.

He is expected to require surgery which will end his season and potentially the 32-year-old prop's career.

Fifita played for his father's homeland of Tonga in 10 Tests, including at the 2017 World Cup, while also earning seven caps for Australia.

A member of the Sharks' Premiership-winning side of 2016, injury plagued his 2020 season but he had bounced back in 2021.