Key Roo on the mend after knockout blow

Jason Phelan
Shaun Higgins of the Kangaroos, right, was out cold after a collision with Hawks' Ryan Burton

North Melbourne veteran Shaun Higgins is on the mend after experiencing the best of life and amongst the worst of AFL football on the same day.

Higgins was knocked out cold in a sickening collision with Hawthorn's Ryan Burton just hours after his wife gave birth to their first child on Sunday.

A motionless Higgins was taken from Etihad Stadium on a motorised stretcher after a nasty head clash during the second quarter of the Roos' upset win.

But the 30-year-old was coherent and in good spirits after the incident as he was transported to Epworth Hospital.

North communications chief Heath O'Loughlin gave a positive update on the player's health on Sunday night.

"I have spoken to Shaun Higgins from hospital and he is in good spirits," he tweeted.

"Thankfully, scans have cleared him of any neck fracture but he will require plastic surgery to repair some damage to his lip.

"He'll be in overnight and is thankful for all the well wishes."

Ed Vickers-Willis suffered a heavy knock and was able to run from the ground after colliding with Harry Morrison but was ruled out for the final term.

In other injury news from round five, Kyle Hartigan added to Adelaide's injury woes when he left the Crows' upset win over Sydney with a hamstring injury.

The key defender joined teammates Matt Crouch, Eddie Betts, Kyle Cheney, Sam Gibson and Lachlan Murphy, who are all out with hamstring injuries.

Rory Sloane was ruled out of the SCG clash with a foot injury.

Geelong's Scott Selwood will continue to be monitored after he was concussed in a controversial bump by Port Adelaide's Lindsay Thomas.

Tom Hawkins was a late withdrawal from the Cats' side that defeated the Power after the spearhead experienced back spasms in the warm-up at Adelaide Oval.

The Western Bulldogs' Tory Dickson (hamstring), St Kilda's Jack Newnes (concussion) and Fremantle's Matt Taberner (foot) will also be assessed.