Australian cricket captain Michael Clarke has arrived again at the bedside of his stricken mate, Phillip Hughes, as the opening batsman enters his third day in intensive care.
Hughes has been in a critical condition in an induced coma at Sydney’s St Vincent’s Hospital after being struck by a ball during South Australia’s Sheffield Shield match with NSW at the SCG on Tuesday.
The 25-year-old has undergone surgery to relieve pressure on his brain, and doctors said they expected to know the outcome of the procedure by Thursday.
His family are at his bedside, waiting and watching for any improvement in his condition.
Clarke arrived at the Darlinghurst hospital just after 6am (AEDT) on Thursday.
He had only left the hospital just after midnight, following players such as Brett Lee, Shane Watson, Phil Jaques and Mitchell Starc.
Vice-captain Brad Haddin and Moises Henriques were among the stream of cricketers to visit Hughes in hospital on Wednesday, joining Hughes’ family at the former Test player’s bedside.
Emotions ran high as supporters shed tears and shared hugs.
Hughes’ life-threatening injuries sent shock waves through the cricketing world, with messages of support pouring in from current and former Australian cricketers as well as players from around the world.
Meanwhile, NSW Health Minister Jillian Skinner will meet the head of NSW Ambulance Ray Creen on Thursday to discuss concerns about the time it took for an emergency team to get to the SCG to treat Hughes.
Sydney Cricket Ground officials called for an ambulance about six minutes after the batsman was felled by the bouncer at 2.23pm on Tuesday.
The ambulance called out at 2.29pm did not arrive until 2.52pm, NSW Ambulance said.
Elsewhere, Cricket Australia on Wednesday called off the entire round of Sheffield Shield matches out of respect for Hughes.
NSW and South Australian players and staff have all been offered counselling and the Australian Cricketers’ Association (ACA) is working to extend that to other state players.
Particular concern is being held for Sean Abbott, the NSW paceman who delivered the ball which felled Hughes.
ACA CEO Alistair Nicholson said Abbott was being closely monitored amid concern for his mental state and playing future.
Nicholson said at this stage Friday’s tour match between a Cricket Australia XI and India and the next round of Sheffield Shield matches, scheduled to begin the following Friday, would go ahead.
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