Two South Sydney Rabbitohs players are in a stable condition, after being rushed to hospital suffering from a reported overdose on prescription medication.
Young Rabbitoh’s pair Dylan Walker, 20, and Aaron Gray, 21, are being held in the intensive care unit of St. Vincent’s Hospital Sydney, after taking “too much” prescription medication, the NRL club confirmed on Tuesday.
“They were prescribed medication, this medication is for pain,” Rabbitoh’s CEO John Lee said. “It has been shown they took too much of this medication.
“There is no suggestion of illicit drug use on this occasion,” Mr Lee said.
“Both players are showing signs of awakedness and we think that will improve … they’re poretty knocked around. They’ve been in a lot of pain.”
The pair was found in a serious condition at a Sydney home around 3:45am on Tuesday.
They were taken by ambulance to hospital, placed in intensive care and were heavily sedated.
Mr Lee refused to confirm reports the players had been put into an induced coma in hospital. He also wouldn’t comment on the substance the pair took.
Reports on Tuesday from Fairfax suggested it was strong prescription painkillers oxycodone and Tramadol.
The players were prescribed the medication by specialists, and not their club doctor, after both had post-season surgery last Wednesday.
Walker was at his lifelong friend Gray’s home on Tuesday night and the pair were watching movies.
“In the early hours of the morning, a third person noticed that there were side effects (from the medication), including vomiting,” Mr Lee said.
“This led the person to alert the ambulance services, who were called to the house.”
Police, NRL probing the alleged overdose
NSW police are investigating the incident.
“Police from Redfern Local Area of Command are investigating a report that two men were taken to hospital after being treated by NSW ambulance paramedics,” a police spokesperson told Fairfax.
“Paramedics were called to a home in Rosebery at 3:30am this morning.”
Mr Lee said the club would co-operate with the NRL’s integrity unit to investigate the incident, after reports the Rabbitoh’s had contacted the league about the matter.
He said the Rabbitohs had not been contacted by NSW Police.
“I got advised by club this morning, advised by the integrity unit this morning,” NRL CEO Dave Smith said. “All I know is two players are in hospital, I think one was quite serious overnight, but I think they’re both stable now.
”The key thing for me is the welfare of the players. Fingers crossed that that all works itself through and if we need to investigate further, then we’ll do that.”
Dylan Walker, 20
Position: Centre, five-eighth, full-back
Games: 62 NRL
4 Kangaroos , 1 NSW City
Bio: Walker was a member of the Rabbitoh’s NRL Premiership winning side in 2014.
He has played four games for the Kangaroos.
Last Wednesday he had surgery on his hand after South Sydney were eliminated from the NRL finals by Cronulla.
Here’s Walker scoring two tries with his broken hand:
Aaron Gray, 21
Position: Centre, wing
Games: 12 NRL games
Bio: Gray played for the Rabbitoh’s youth-side from 2012 to 2014.
He then made his debut for the Rabbitohs first grade side in round 8 of 2015 against Canberra.
On the same day as Walker’s hand-surgery, Gray had a procedure done on his right knee.
He recently re-signed with the club until 2017.
Gray scored his first try in his fourth game: