Bulls star 'had heart attack'
Bradford's Adrian Purtell will spend the rest of the week in hospital after suffering what the player's mother reported to be a heart attack.
Fran Purtell told Australian newspaper the Border Mail that her son, 27, suffered a heart attack just hours after playing for the Bulls in their derby defeat by Leeds which was played in sweltering conditions at Manchester's Etihad Stadium on Sunday afternoon.
The Bulls revealed on Monday morning that Purtell complained of feeling unwell on the journey back from Manchester and that the bus stopped twice for the doctor to treat him.
He was admitted to Huddersfield Royal Infirmary and later transferred to Leeds General Infirmary, where he is expected to spend the next few days recovering.
Bradford football manager Stuart Duffy, who was on the team bus, said: "Adrian's condition was giving cause for concern and the club doctor, Donald Young, advised that he should be taken to hospital immediately.
"The bus went to Huddersfield Royal Infirmary where Adrian was detained and he was later transferred to the Leeds General Infirmary where he spent the night.
"Our thoughts are with Adrian at this time."
Leeds issued a statement, saying: "The Rhinos would like to echo those sentiments and hope that Adrian makes a speedy recovery."
Purtell is in his first season in Super League, having joined Bradford on a three-year deal from Penrith Panthers last November.
Duffy said the Bulls were unable to confirm the exact nature of Purtell's illness due to patient confidentiality but the player's mother told the Border Mail newspaper that her son had suffered a heart attack.
Fran Purtell said she received a telephone call from the club doctor last night and immediately made plans to fly to England to be at her son's bedside.
"Adrian had a heart attack," she told The Border Mail before boarding a flight to Manchester, via Sydney.
"He had a blockage to one of the main arteries to the heart but he's OK. He's in Leeds hospital and is in good care.
"It was very frightening this morning for everyone."
Purtell's health scare comes just two months after Bolton midfielder Fabrice Muamba suffered a cardiac arrest during a match at Tottenham.
Purtell, who started his professional career at Canberra Raiders in 2006, missed a large chunk of the following season due to deep vein thrombosis after a blood clot was found in his lungs.
Purtell has been ordered to spend a minimum five days in hospital and, although a hospital spokesperson declined to make any comment, he is believed to be in a stable condition.
His mother said her son had been feeling unwell for some time.
"He knew something was wrong," she added. "He said he had a sore chest a few weeks ago and was keeping an eye on it. He knew that something was amiss.
"It was hurting on the bus like it had been. The news for now is that he's OK. His heart didn't stop beating at that stage."