GREATER Western Sydney midfielder Jacob Hopper has been taken to hospital after being concussed when he was accidentally kicked in the head while attempting to smother a ball late in the match against Port Adelaide.
Hopper dived to smother a kick from Karl Amon but arrived too late to affect the kick and was hit in the head by the Power midfielder's left boot as it followed through.
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The Giants' medical staff were quickly on the scene to assess and care for Hopper and called for a stretcher to carry him from the field with his neck in a brace.
GWS confirmed later on Sunday night that Hopper had been cleared of any structural damage to his neck and jaw, and was being monitored in hospital.
"Clearly he's concussed. He's gone off to hospital just to check out how bad it is but we'll just have to wait and see over the coming days," coach Leon Cameron said after the match.
"He was a bit groggy, that's why we went with the precautions. The doc has been great, the club has handled it really well.
"He'll just get checked out and see how he progresses over the coming days."
Jacob Hopper has suffered a concussion but been cleared of any structural issues related to his neck and jaw. He has gone to hospital for further assessment but is in the best possible care and should make a full recovery. ????? pic.twitter.com/QrEqG0ihOF— GWS GIANTS (@GWSGIANTS) August 1, 2021
The gun onballer has been outstanding for the Giants this season as he's averaged 27 disposals a game and is rated as elite for clearances with 6.4 a game and ground ball gets at nine a game.
Hopper will now miss at least the Giants' upcoming match against Geelong as he goes through the standard 12-day concussion protocols.
"He's so brave and tough, he's been unbelievably good for us all year. He's had a stellar year," Cameron said.
"He puts his head in spots where we actually don't want him to sometimes."
After trailing by only seven points at three-quarter time the number of injuries sustained by the Giants throughout the match caught up with them and the Power were able to run away.
Phil Davis was subbed out in the third term with concussion while Daniel Lloyd and Sam Reid both had to be helped from the field with ankle issues but were able to play out the game. Shane Mumford also battled hard under duress but looks set to miss the clash with the Cats.
The Giants claimed the lead in the third term but the Power then kicked six of the final seven goals to run out 27-point winners.
The late burst was sparked by young guns Zak Butters, Xavier Duursma and Connor Rozee who were each playing their second match since returning from injury. Orazio Fantasia was also influential in the second half in his first match since round 11.
Power coach Ken Hinkley said he was looking forward to seeing what that group could produce as they start to recover their match fitness, while also waiting for more support to return.
"We had a pretty dominant game when it comes to the numbers and the stats and I know there is significant improvement still in us with the players that we're starting to get back into the team," Hinkley said.
"I think our front half is damaging and more damaging with those players in the side. We've got Robbie Gray coming back, we've got Steven Motlop not too far away as well, so I think we've got some personnel to fit in there still that can even make us more damaging.
"I thought they all got better as the game went on, I thought they all were significant for us. As we know, they're pretty talented young players."