Injured Cronulla star Andrew Fifita has revealed the emotional toll of being in an induced coma for five days in a Brisbane hospital after the Cronulla prop left the field during his game against Newcastle, having copped a hit to his throat.
Fifita was rushed to hospital and placed in an induced coma over a week ago, before doctors performed an operation to repair a fractured larynx following the incident.
The Cronulla forward remained in the coma until Friday.
The former Origin prop opened up about the ordeal, revealing the moment he woke from the coma.
"I heard the doc say 'Andrew it's time to wake up'," Fifita told News Corp.
By then I'm f***ing screaming... he squeezed my hand... then I woke up. I thought it was an hour (had passed by), I didn't know it was five days.
"I said 'Where's my footy shorts'... and I go 'Where's my missus? It's been an hour', like she's five minutes up the road.
"He goes 'You know it's Friday?' and I said 'What? Bulls--t, it's been an hour', and he goes 'No you've been here for five days in hospital'."
Fifita couldn't help but shed tears during the interview and remains in hospital speaking with the assistance of a tracheostomy tube.
The 32-year-old said he's still recovering at Royal Brisbane and Women's Hospital following successful laryngeal surgery and is expected to make a full recovery and play rugby league again.
"I was with the surgeons when they gave the news to Nikki (Fifita's wife) and there's no reason why he won't make a full recovery to play rugby league again," said Cronulla football manager Darren Mooney told 2GB.
"He's going well and is overwhelmed by the support from everyone in the rugby league community, as is his wife Nikki.
"The operation was a real success and the surgeons expect him to make a full recovery. Hopefully [Fifita] is out of hospital as soon as he can after that."
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