The Sydney Roosters have granted captain Boyd Cordner permission to leave their quarantine bubble as his cousin fights for life in hospital.
Cordner’s 21-year -old cousin was rushed to hospital on Sunday and has since undergone surgery twice after a horrifying accident during a game of rugby league.
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Cordner has rushed to be by Dark’s side as his family member remains in a critical condition in hospital.
Dark suffered a seizure on the footy field after copping a nasty head knock and collapsing in his first-grade debut for Newcastle Central.
He was quickly whisked off to hospital in an ambulance after one of his teammates performed CPR on the stricken player out on the field.
Newcastle Central club president Heath Anderson confirmed Dark underwent brain surgery and remains in a critical condition after the "horrible" accident.
“He had surgery late last night and surgery again today,” Anderson told the Sydney Morning Herald on Monday.
“The good thing about Joel is he is a tough kid from the bush and he’s good a lot of people around him.”
Dark suffered the horrifying injury in front of family members and friends during the second half of Sunday's match against Western Suburbs.
The game was abandoned in the immediate aftermath of the incident.
Page set up to raise funds for Dark’s family
A GoFundMe page has been set up to assist Dark's family with medical expenses associated with the tragic accident.
So far more than $70,000 has been raised towards a target goal of $80,000.
The club's president says counselling has been offered to players and spectators after the latest shocking incident to rock the organisation.
“We had an incident a couple of years ago, a player similar to Joel in a fairly serious predicament in hospital after an incident,” Anderson said.
“We had players in tears because it was out on the field. The other team who they played is quite distraught.”
Cordner himself has been sidelined for six weeks after copping his own head knock during a round nine clash against the Melbourne Storm.
The Roosters skipper spoke to media on Monday about the situation after experiencing lingering concussion-related symptoms from the incident.
“We definitely were very cautious, with coming back from obviously a head injury it’s never something you want to mess around with,” Cordner said.
“First couple of games, I’m still finding my way a bit. I know I have a lot more in me personally, but it’s good to be back playing and it’s good to get an 80-minute performance under my belt.”