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The Roar


Stars keeper cleared of fracture but future unclear after being rushed to hospital from 'gruesome' training incident

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6th January, 2024
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Sam Harper has been cleared of a fracture and soft-tissue damage after being struck in the head at Melbourne Stars training and hospitalised.

Former Australian representative Peter Handscomb will replace Harper in the Stars team to face the Sydney Sixers on Saturday night.

Harper suffered a laceration on his chin and neck after being struck by a ball as he attempted to play a ramp shot at training on Friday.

The 27-year-old was attended by team medical staff before being taken to a Melbourne hospital, where he stayed overnight. 

As of 11am Saturday, Harper was still in hospital.

“Harper will be monitored by doctors over the coming days,” a statement from the Stars read.


Harper has a history of concussions and was sidelined for several weeks in 2017 after being accidentally struck in the head with a bat.

He spent almost a month in a dark hospital room recovering from the injury.

In 2020, Harper became the first player subbed out of a BBL game after a freak collision with Hobart Hurricanes quick Nathan Ellis that sent him to hospital.

There is not yet a timeline for Harper’s return from his latest injury.


Uncontracted this BBL summer, Handscomb has now been signed as a local replacement player as a stop-gap but pending Harper’s condition he could be offered a longer deal.

But the Stars could run into trouble as Handscomb is due to captain the Cricket Australia XI in a three-day tour match against West Indies from January 12.

The Stars have games on January 13th and 15th and are on track to make finals having won their four games ahead of Saturday night’s home fixture.

Harper started the BBL season opening the batting for the Stars, but has shifted to as low as nine in the order with the team’s form improving.

He played in the Renegades’ stunning BBL08 final triumph over their crosstown rivals.