Fletcher ruled out for season after head injury

Nottinghamshire's seam bowler Luke Fletcher has been ruled out for the rest of the season after being struck on the head in his followthrough in a T20 Blast fixture at Edgbaston on Saturday.

Fletcher was assessed and treated at the ground before being quickly transferred to Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Birmingham for further investigations. Although he was discharged on Sunday, he returned to hospital to undergo further tests on Tuesday.

"Following consultation with doctors, Luke has been ruled out for the rest of the 2017 season to allow adequate time to recover and complete a monitored care plan to ensure he has a safe return to play," said Mick Newell, Nottinghamshire's director of cricket.

"Whilst we are all obviously very disappointed, Luke's health is of paramount importance and comes first. We will continue to give him every support as he undergoes his recovery."

The incident occurred in the fourth over of Birmingham's run-chase at Edgbaston. Fletcher's first ball of the night was driven ferociously straight back by Sam Hain and struck him on the head in his followthrough.

The umpire signalled instantly for medical assistance, and it was clear from the reaction of the players that they felt the incident was potentially very serious. Fletcher was concussed, but he did not lose consciousness and he was able to walk from the field aided by a physio with a towel over his head.

He was attended to by paramedics in the dressing-room, and was taken to a Nottingham hospital for further examination. His team-mate, Jake Ball, later tweeted a picture of Fletcher, wearing an oxygen mask but with his thumbs up, adding: "Horrible injury to @fletcherluke but looks like he's doing well off to hospital #legend"

Play was suspended for half an hour, but eventually resumed with Birmingham stealing a six-wicket victory with a single on the final ball.

One of the most popular players in county cricket, Fletcher was given the warmest of ovations from the 9,000 crowd and, typically, waved in acknowledgement. But with the players visibly concerned, the decision was taken to temporarily halt the game.

He later tweeted from hospital that it was time for some paracetamol.