North Queensland Cowboys prop Matt Scott has suffered a mild stroke, the NRL club have confirmed.
The veteran is recovering in hospital after falling ill on Sunday, but doctors believe the incident is unrelated to rugby league.
Scott, who has 268 NRL games under his belt, is due to retire at the end of the season and initial reports from doctors say they expect the 34-year-old to make a full recovery.
“It’s upsetting news, to be honest, and I think everyone’s just processing it at the moment,” Cowboys coach Paul Green was quoted as saying by the NRL’s official website.
“That’s not what we expected. We knew he was pretty crook coming off the flight, but for it to be what it is, it is quite surprising. I think everyone’s a little bit taken aback by what’s actually happened.
“It started Sunday morning and then by the time we arrived in Brisbane, he was pretty crook, so we decided to send him to hospital on our stopover from Brisbane.
“I think like all of your players, you build a pretty special relationship with them along the way. It’s similar in some ways, I suppose, to a family – sometimes it’s good, sometimes it’s uncomfortable, but in the end it’s always a strong relationship considering what you go through together.”