GREATER Western Sydney forward Jon Patton has been taken to hospital after being king hit while holidaying in the United States.
GWS released a statement on Thursday afternoon confirming that the 22-year-old former number one draft pick had been struck on the side of the head in an unprovoked attack outside a Los Angeles nightspot.
Local police confirmed that witnesses saw the incident and a male was taken into custody and arrested for the assault.
Patton is travelling around the United States on an extended holiday with teammates Tomas Bugg – who was there when the attack occurred – and Stephen Coniglio, who was not present at the time.
Patton has been cleared of any serious injury but was taken to hospital with concussion.
GWS senior assistant coach Alan McConnell told Melbourne radio station SEN it was disappointing to hear that Patton has been subjected to such a senseless attack, but praised both players, especially Bugg for their handling of a tense situation.
Bugg has made his name on the field as a no-nonsense tagger with a love of getting in the face of his opposition, but McConnell denied that the Giant had anything to do with the trouble.
"Tom (Bugg) was unscathed, pretty shaken up," McConnell said.
"Let me be very clear, Tom was even more innocent than Jonny in all this in that he simply was watching his mate and actually saw it happen.
"He's handled himself sensationally in terms of a: looking after his mate, and b: having to provide statements to police about what went on, which is not really what you what to do when you're on a break."
McConnell said the players would be left to make their own decision on whether they cut their trip short to return to Australia in the coming days.
"The medical report says that he's (Patton) safe to continue his travel; he's also safe to fly home if he chooses," McConnell said.
"What you probably would realise is that Jonny, with his couple of knees over the last couple of years, this is the third off-season break that’s going to be trashed, from his perspective, out of three if that’s the case.
"We'd hope that the boys would be able to continue on their journey but we'll just need to wait and see and have them decide, in terms of where their heads are at, in terms of what's best going forward."
Giants players have been on their off-season break since the club's best and fairest award on Saturday September 12.
Patton made his second comeback from a knee reconstruction in round 19 against Essendon and played three games before being rested for the last two games of the year.