"Thank God". That was the WhatsApp message posted by Omar Phillips, the Barbados and West Indies opener, once he had regained consciousness at the Milton Kato Memorial Hospital, in Kingstown in St Vincent.
Last Friday, just before lunch during the first day's play between Barbados and Windward Islands (in the fourth round of the WICB Professional League), Phillips, standing at the non-striker's end, was hit on the back of his helmet from powerful drive from his batting partner Shai Hope. Moments later Philips was lying unconscious. He was rushed to the hospital.
Considering the incident had come in the immediate wake of Phillip Hughes' death, there was naturally a lot of concern. But doctors, having carried out tests and scans, declared Phillips was safe and had suffered concussion.
"It has been a difficult situation for me in terms of having a seen a cricketer die of a similar injury." Phillips told ESPNCricnfo. "So that had been kind of bothered me at first."
Phillips had no immediate recollection of the sequence of events once he lost consciousness. Till late on Friday, Phillips was not even aware how long he was unconscious. Six minutes it was, he was told later. "I don't really remember what happened after I got struck. All I remember was waking up at the hospital. At that time I kept thinking about the whole Phil Hughes stuff. And I was kind of scared because you never know with a head injury how serious it could be."
The scans came out clear and Phillips was "a lot more relieved" even if he was far away from "fully back being my normal self". As he woke up in the hospital Phillips still had blurred vision and saw two doctors over him. He admitted he was rattled. "I didn't understand really what was going on at the moment."
But Phillips is thankful to Barbados physiotherapist Jacqui King, who was constantly talking to him and trying to help him relax. "She kept in the moment. She kept by my side. Kept telling me: 'it's going to be all right. Gonna be all right'. She actually got me through it because if I was on my own I probably would have panicked."
Back in Barbados his family was on the edge. "It was a difficult time for my family. A lot of people were calling the house. They had also seen the Phil Hughes situation, so my family was trying to call me but they could not get through me because I did not have my phone with me while the scans were being done."
This is not the first time Phillips was hit on the head. Five years ago, in a first division match in the domestic league in Barbados, he got a "nasty blow" on the front of the helmet while fielding at short leg after the batsman pulled a short delivery straight into him. But Phillips stood up immediately and never was bothered.
Incidentally, in previous round of the Professional League against Guyana, Phillips was once again at shortleg and had his right hand injured trying to fend off a straight hit into his body. Last Friday, as Hope's bullet-like stroke came his way, Phillips raised his right hand as the first line of defence. But, a fraction later, he withdrew the hand.
"It was a lofted shot towards the on side. Hope was looking to go over long-on and so he chipped on to the spinner. But he didn't elevate it enough. It had a lot of power. It was well struck. I was trying to get my right hand in the way, but it came in so quickly. Also having got struck on my hand in the previous game I tried to avoid getting hit again. The ball was heading for the helmet, but I turned my face to my left at the last moment."
The ball stuck him at the bottom right of the rear of the helmet. Despite being hit, Phillips' first move was to get back to safety having sensed he was out of his crease. He saw the bowler's (left-arm spinner Alston Bobb) face and then his legs gave up and he went unconscious.
Once the doctors, having observed him overnight, allowed him to leave Phillips went straight first to the ground to let his team-mates knows he was fine before boarding a flight back home from St Vincent. The most happy person to see him was Hope. Only 21 years old, Hope, Phillips said, was very apologetic. "He kept telling me 'sorry' all the time. I told him he did nothing wrong. It is all part of the game. He was still a little nervous. The team did not know I had been cleared on Friday evening but they only came to know next morning. So they thought I was serious." But the Barbados team were happy to see their Ramo (Phillips' nickname) standing back up on his legs.
Equally happy was his family in Kingston. After the doctors told him he was fine, the first person Phillips called was his mum Joann. "The words were still not clear but she was full of joy to hear me," Phillips said. Hughmayers, Phillips' father, picked him up at Barbados airport. "My family was relieved to see me in person and that I was okay."
Considering he was diagnosed with concussion, Phillips still gets stabbing pains accompanied by dizziness at times. According to Phillips, doctors have prescribed a rehabilitation period of at least a couple of weeks. And he is not rushing back.
Phillips said he will obviously come back and play. "As I said it is not the first time I have been struck. It won't be too hard to come back because I have done that earlier. You know the risk you are up against when you take the role to play as a cricketer or even as a sportsman. It is just a matter for me now to get back in the nets and get my mental game right."
Nagraj Gollapudi is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo