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Joel Thompson seriously injured after 'real bad accident'

Manly forward Joel Thompson is expected to be released from Royal North Shore Hospital in coming days after suffering head injuries from "a real bad accident".

Thompson posted a picture of himself on his Instagram account lying on a hospital bed in a neck brace with blood on his face and head.

In the caption on the Instagram story, he wrote: "Hey everyone, I've had a real bad accident. Won't be talking to anyone for another week. "Big lesson learnt around drinking and partying. Thinking of you all."

He told NewsCorp on Wednesday night he hit his head on rocks after he "rolled down a big hill" and feared for his life but said he has "come through it".

Channel Nine reported that Thompson had been attending a BBQ with friends when he took a fall and was found unconscious on the footpath below. 

Thompson was rushed to Gosford Hospital before being airlifted to Royal North Shore Hospital and Manly officials said he had been concussed and suffered a large cut on his head. He is expected to be released in the next few days.

A spokesman said the NRL was aware of the photo and were checking on Thompson's welfare, as well as trying to determine what had happened.

Social media has lit up with posts of support, hoping the popular Sea Eagle is not too badly injured and can make a full recovery, while concerned friends tried to contact him.

The 31-year-old second-rower, who is contracted to Manly until the end of 2020, has been one of the game’s biggest contributors off the field and recently received a Ken Stephen Medal nomination as recognition for his many hours of community work.

His 2019 campaign came to a premature end in round 23 when he suffered a broken arm during Manly's win over Canberra.

He has tallied 220 matches since his NRL debut in 2008 from six seasons at Canberra, a four-year stint at St George Illawarra before joining Manly last year.

Thompson attended the annual Koori Knockout in Gosford on the weekend along with several NRL players including Andrew Fifita, Cody Walker and Greg Inglis however he did not play due to his arm injury.

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