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Matthew Hayden 'dodges bullet' in surfing accident

Matthew Hayden was inducted into Australian Cricket's Hall of Fame Getty Images

Former Australia opener Matthew Hayden has suffered fractured vertebrae and torn ligaments in an accident while surfing with his son on Stradbroke Island in Queensland.

While saying he had "dodged a bullet," Hayden, 46, posted a couple of photos on Instagram, including one where he was wearing a neck brace; the other showed lacerations on his forehead.

"Just wanted to say a big thank you to all our mates on Straddie who have been so supportive," Hayden said in his post. "Especially Ben & Sue Kelley for the fast diagnosis with MRI, CT scan. Fractured C6, torn C5,C4 ligaments safe to say I truly have dodged a bullet. Thank you everyone. On the road to recovery."

Speaking to the Courier Mail about the accident, Hayden said: "It was an hour into the session and we had had half dozen waves together and I got this one right-handed wave which I sort of ducked under and that is pretty much all I can remember. I wasn't knocked out. I was speared into the top of the sandbank onto the top of my head. Then it twisted my head with my own weight and the weight of the wave. I heard this god almighty click in my neck. I did not get knocked out but I sort of came to and rolled up on my back."

It wasn't Hayden's first accident in Queensland. An avid surfer and sailor, Hayden was on a boat that capsized in 2000. He and two colleagues, including former Australia allrounder Andrew Symonds, eventually swam a kilometre to shore.

In all, Hayden played 273 internationals for Australia between 1994 and 2008, scoring just over 15,000 runs.