Adrian Purtell suffered heart scare during Magic Weekend


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The Independent Online

Australian centre Adrian Purtell suffered a heart attack following Bradford's Magic Weekend game against Leeds on Sunday.

Purtell, 27, complained of feeling unwell after the game at Manchester's Etihad Stadium and received treatment from the club's medical staff on the team bus on the journey home.

He was taken to Leeds General Infirmary where he underwent surgery and is expected to remain in hospital for the rest of the week.

Bradford football manager Stuart Duffy said: "Adrian had an immediate primary angioplasty to remove the blockage in his artery but both the club and the player wish to point out that at no time did he suffer a cardiac arrest.

"His heart did not stop beating and he was conscious throughout the journey to hospital.

"Adrian is feeling much better today but will remain in hospital for the next few days for further tests."

Bradford say they were unable to initially comment on Purtell's condition until receiving his permission due to patient confidentiality, although the player's mother Fran Purtell broke the news to an Australian newspaper just before catching a flight to England.

Duffy added: "The Bulls would like to thank the club's medical team, Dr Donald Young, physiotherapist Jamie Moseley and head of conditioning Geoff Evans for their treatment of Adrian and in particular the staff at both the Huddersfield Royal Infirmary and the Leeds General Infirmary for their expert care of Adrian.

"The club would also like to thank the RFL for their support in this matter."

Purtell, who is in his first season in Super League, issued a statement through the club thanking everyone for their best wishes.

"I have read all the messages and would like to thank everyone for their concern," he said.

"The response from the rugby league community has been overwhelming and I appreciate everyone's kind thoughts."

Purtell's health scare comes just two months after Bolton midfielder Fabrice Muamba suffered a cardiac arrest during a match at Tottenham.

Purtell, who started his professional career at Canberra in 2006, missed a large chunk of the following season due to deep vein thrombosis after a blood clot was found in his lungs and his mother said he had been feeling unwell for some time.

He missed four games earlier this season with a torn pectoral muscle and sat out two more matches with a hamstring injury before returning to make his 10th appearance for the club in the 37-22 defeat by the Rhinos.

Coach Mick Potter, who visited Purtell in hospital, told the Bradford Telegraph & Argus: "He's looking as well as he's ever looked.

"His colour is back, he's sitting up and his sense of humour was there.

"He was perky but he's got to stay in hospital for the next few days while they run some tests.

"We hope they're all going to be clear and that he gets back to playing rugby league."