Former Southern Flinders footballer Tai Martin-Page is currently receiving treatment in a Perth hospital for a spinal injury he sustained in a match in Darwin, NT, on Saturday.
The 2017 Northern Argus/Northern Areas Football Association Team of the Year representative was involved in a collision in the opening minutes of the round 12 clash, which left him motionless on the field.
Martin-Page, 27, is playing his first season in the Northern Territory Football League for the Darwin Buffaloes.
He was transferred to Perth by the Royal Flying Doctor Service in a stable condition on Sunday, and family members have travelled to Perth to be by his side.
On Sunday, he thanked supporters and medical staff on Facebook.
“Yesterday afternoon I copped a knock to the head while playing footy, unfortunately resulting in a dislocated vertebrae in my neck and damage to my spinal cord,” he posted.
“At this stage the extent of my injuries aren't fully known but I'm getting the best care possible. Hoping to get out of hospital soon and start rehab.
“Unfortunately accidents like this occur in contact sports and next time I will zig instead of zagging.”
On Monday night, he posted a further update following surgery.
“Had surgery last night. Had spinal fusion in neck.
“All went good but still have lot of swelling and bruising on spinal chord. Can move arms and can move and feel a little bit in hands.
“Still no feeling or movement in legs though. Surgeon said showing good signs but still a long road to recovery.”
On Sunday night, NTFL released a statement regarding the incident.
“Those close to Tai know he is a positive, warm, and determined young man who has remained true to his character during this time,” it said.
“Tai was most recently recruited by the NT Thunder Football Club and was expected to be revealed as an exciting 2018 signing in the coming days.”
Darwin Buffaloes head coach Matt Campbell said it was a testament to Tai’s character as to how big an impact he had made in the short while that he had been in Darwin.
“From the moment I have known Tai he has impressed me with his attitude, work ethic and maturity,” he said.
“All our thoughts, hopes and prayers are with Tai and his family.”
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