Sharks lock Reece Williams has undergone emergency surgery for a blood clot on the brain
REECE Williams is lying in a darkened hospital room, struggling to talk, suffering severe headaches and with his immediate playing future shrouded in uncertainty.
The Daily Telegraph can today reveal the Sharks lock has post-concussion syndrome and is recovering from a blood clot on his brain following an innocuous incident in his side’s 30-0 loss to the Eels on Sunday.
Williams is being treated by renowned neurosurgeon Richard Parkinson, who earlier this year operated for 2½ hours on Sharks prop Ben Ross after he had suffered a career-threatening neck injury.
Williams is expected to recover and return to the NRL but there are grave fears he will not be back this year.
“His health is more important to the club than him coming back in the short term,” Sharks coach Ricky Stuart said last night.
"We’re all very worried about Reece.
“We just hope there’s no ill-effects to his long-term future.” Sharks doctor Dave Givney said: “I’ve never seen a concussion like this one. Playing footy again is the least of his worries right now.”
It is understood Williams has continued playing in the last five weeks despite suffering head knocks on two separate occasions.
He was cleared to keep playing after medical tests, but there was an indication things might have been awry last week when he complained of severe headaches after a training session. Williams underwent a CT scan and was again told he was fit to play.
But after just 11 minutes against the Eels, a groggy Williams was helped from the field when he struggled to regain his feet after a regulation hit-up.
Replays show Williams received the ball about 25m from the Eels’ line and charged at the defence. Just before he was tackled, he passed the ball to his right.
“I’ve looked at the video on numerous occasions to explain this and there appears to be nothing untoward,” Givney said.
The 24-year-old did not return and was later taken to Sutherland Hospital. When his symptoms had not improved by Tuesday he was ordered to undergo an MRI, which revealed bruising on his brain, and he is undergoing further tests. He is now in St Vincent’s Private, in a darkened room, with only family members allowed to visit him.
“He had significant symptoms after the game,” Givney said. "He underwent the MRI and it showed he is suffering from bruising on the brain. He has post-concussion syndrome - he is feeling pretty lousy.
“But Dr Parkinson has told us there is no reason why he cannot make a full recovery. It could be a matter of weeks or it could be the season.”
It marks a horror run for Williams, who played only two matches last year because he suffered a serious knee injury.
And it continues a horror run for the Sharks, who have lost a score of senior players through injury, starting with Ross when a ruptured disc in his neck almost put him in a wheelchair for life.
Source: The Daily Telegraph
Hope the young guy improves, he didnt look right when he was playing on the weekend either and that explains why.
I think questions also need to be asked about how to treat players that have been concussed, maybe the NRL could intervene with a rule that once a player has left the field with concussion, they cannot play the next week.