Nottinghamshire bowler suffers freak blow to the head to spark injury fears

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Nottinghamshire Outlaws bowler Luke Fletcher has been taken to hospital for medical checks after receiving a heavy blow to the head by the ball during a T20 Blast game against the Birmingham Bears. 

Play was briefly suspended when Fletcher was left stricken as one his deliveries was drilled straight back at him at speed, sparking concern among visibly shaken team-mates and opposition players at Edgbaston. 

Fletcher was able to leave the field and the match resumed, although the full extent of the injury is not yet known. 

A picture of the 28-year-old wearing an oxygen mask with his thumbs up emerged on Twitter courtesy of team-mate Jake Ball as he joined many well wishers on social media.

A statement from Nottinghamshire County Cricket Club chief executive Lisa Pursehouse said: "Luke Fletcher has been taken to hospital to assess the extent of the head injury sustained in the NatWest T20 Blast between the Birmingham Bears and the Notts Outlaws and an update on his condition will be communicated in due course.

"He was able to walk off the field of play and, after receiving treatment from the medical staff, it was recommended he go to hospital for a thorough check-up.

"Nottinghamshire County Cricket Club would like to thank Sky, the ECB, the Birmingham Bears staff and the Edgbaston crowd for the sympathy and understanding they showed in an extremely difficult situation.

"The heartfelt round of applause given to the team as they left the field before returning was very much appreciated by the players and management."