Former Australia opener Matthew Hayden has suffered fractured vertebrae and torn ligaments in an accident while surfing with his son on Stradbroke Island in Queensland.

While saying he had “dodged a bullet,” Hayden, 46, posted a couple of photos on Instagram, including one where he was wearing a neck brace; the other showed lacerations on his forehead.

“Just wanted to say a big thank you to all our mates on Straddie who have been so supportive,” Hayden said in his post. “Especially Ben & Sue Kelley for the fast diagnosis with MRI, CT scan. Fractured C6, torn C5,C4 ligaments safe to say I truly have dodged a bullet. Thank you everyone. On the road to recovery.”

Speaking to the Courier Mail about the accident, Hayden said: “It was an hour into the session and we had had half dozen waves together and I got this one right-handed wave which I sort of ducked under and that is pretty much all I can remember. I wasn’t knocked out. I was speared into the top of the sandbank onto the top of my head. Then it twisted my head with my own weight and the weight of the wave. I heard this god almighty click in my neck. I did not get knocked out but I sort of came to and rolled up on my back.”

It wasn’t Hayden’s first accident in Queensland. An avid surfer and sailor, Hayden was on a boat that capsized in 2000. He and two colleagues, including former Australia allrounder Andrew Symonds, eventually swam a kilometre to shore.

In all, Hayden played 273 internationals for Australia between 1994 and 2008, scoring just over 15,000 runs.

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