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Two Rabbitohs players slowly emerging from comas as police investigate suspected prescription drug overdose

9News.com.au logo 9News.com.au 22/09/2015

South Sydney Rabbitohs players Dylan Walker and Aaron Gray are slowly emerging from induced comas in intensive care after a suspected prescription drug overdose early this morning.

The friends fell ill while watching movies in a granny flat at Gray’s Rosebury home, lapsing in and out of consciousness about 3.45am.

They were taken to St Vincent’s Hospital in a critical condition.

Dylan Walker (centre) celebrates the Rabbitohs' 2014 NRL premiership victory with Greg Inglis. © Mark Kolbe/Getty Images Dylan Walker (centre) celebrates the Rabbitohs' 2014 NRL premiership victory with Greg Inglis.

Rabbitohs CEO John Lee revealed today that the pair had both undergone post-season surgery and had overdosed on prescribed painkillers.

“This is medication that is not taken for fun, this is medication that is taken for pain and it is becoming clear that they took too much of that medication,” Mr Lee said.

“This is a traumatic time for those families, their loved ones are literally in intensive car.”

The medication is believed to be Targin, a form of oxycodone that is also known as ‘hillbilly heroin’ due to its ability to send people into a euphoric state if mixed with alcohol or energy dirnks.

Earlier in the day, NRL CEO Dave Smith disclosed some details.

“I don’t know the specifics, I don’t think anyone knows, what I do know is two young men have ended up in hospital in a pretty seriously ill condition,” Mr Smith said.

"The key thing for me is the welfare of the players.

"Fingers crossed that all works itself through and if we need to investigate further, we’ll do that."

Aaron Gray enjoyed a breakout season with the Rabbitohs in 2015. © Mark Kolbe/Getty Images Aaron Gray enjoyed a breakout season with the Rabbitohs in 2015.

Walker, 20, has played for Australia, and Gray, 21, is a rising star who scored seven tries in his rookie season.

Police and the NRL are investigating, and the code’s Integrity Unit will analyse the case.

The Rabbitohs also issued a statement earlier today.

"The South Sydney Rabbitohs have confirmed that two of its players, Dylan Walker and Aaron Gray, were admitted to hospital this morning, and both are in a stable condition," the club advised.

"Both players had post season surgery last week, following the end of the Club’s season, in preparation for pre-season training to commence later this year.

"The Club is keeping abreast of the situation and will not be making any further comment at this stage."

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