Melbourne Stars issue positive health update on hospitalised wicketkeeper Sam Harper

Melbourne Stars BBL wicketkeeper Sam Harper has been cleared of serious injury after being struck on the chin by a ball in training on Friday night.

The Stars released a statement on the 27-year-old after he was released from hospital on Saturday morning.

“Scans have cleared Sam Harper of an acute fracture or soft tissue injury, after he was injured whilst batting in the MCG nets last night,” the Stars said.

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“Harper suffered a laceration on his chin and neck and was immediately attended to by the Melbourne Stars medical team after being struck whilst attempting to ramp a ball.

“An ambulance was immediately called and Harper was taken to hospital where he stayed overnight.

“Harper will be monitored by doctors over the coming days.”

Harper’s obvious exclusion from Saturday night’s BBL clash against the Sydney Sixers has opened the door for former Stars skipper Peter Handscomb to come into the squad to take the gloves.

“Handscomb returns to the Stars having played 51 games for the club between BBL|01 and BBL|09,” the Stars said in their statement.

Sam Harper is a much loved figure within Australian cricket. Credit: Morgan Hancock/Getty Images

Concerningly, Harper wasn’t even facing any legitimate bowling when the accident occurred — he was hitting throwdowns from a slinger that batting coaches use in the nets.

It’s believed several players were visibly emotional when the sickening hit occurred.

The former Melbourne Renegades player has a history of concussions and was sidelined for several weeks in 2017 after South Australia’s Jake Lehmann accidentally struck him in the head with his bat.

Harper spent almost a month in a dark hospital room afterwards and initially needed a walking frame.

The Victorian keeper called it “the worst three weeks” of his life.

In 2020, Harper was also hospitalised after he hit his head on the ground in a freak collision with Hobart Hurricanes player Nathan Ellis while playing for the Renegades.

Harper was hospitalised and became the first player to be subbed out of a BBL game.

Late in that year, he told The Age: “Hopefully, I can wrap the halo angel around my head for the next few years and, touch wood, there are no more incidents.”

The 27-year-old has had at least nine serious head knocks.

With AAP

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