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Magpies’ player in critical condition

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Bartlett in serious neck injury

Hawke’s Bay Nui Bartlett is in a critical condition after suffering from a serious neck injury sustained in an Air New Zealand Cup rugby match against Canterbury.

The loose forward has been flown to the Burwood Spinal Unit in Christchurch for specialist care after a maul collapsed during his side’s 45-0 loss over the weekend.

All precautionary measures were taken as Bartlett was placed in a protective brace and stretchered off from McLean Park in Napier.

Hawke’s Bay chief executive Mike Bishop told NZPA that Bartlett, 23, had suffered a “serious neck injury” and “hopefully he will recover 100 percent”.

“There were some encouraging signs in terms of movement before he left Hastings,” said Bishop.

Bishop went to visit his injured player yesterday and said Bartlett had movement in his arms and was keeping very positive.

Unfortunately, he also said it was far too early to say when Bartlett could play rugby again.

“We’re very hopeful and positive that Nui will recover 100 percent,” said coach Bishop.

Brother-in-law Matt Marsh told the Hawke’s Bay Today newspaper that Bartlett had shown signs of improvement.

“I’ve heard there have been rumours going around suggesting he won’t walk again but doctors have told us he’ll walk in the future,” a concerned Marsh said.

“His spinal cord is still intact and the fact he was in such good shape before the injury will certainly help him.”

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