Middlesex captain Adam Voges is receiving treatment in hospital after being struck a nasty blow on the head by a ball thrown from the boundary.
A ball thrown from the outfield by substitute fielder Ollie Rayner was missed by the Middlesex wicketkeeper, John Simpson, and struck Voges on the back of the head. He received lengthy treatment on the field before being helped off by two physios and taken to hospital with suspected concussion on the opening day of Middlesex's championship match against Hampshire at the Ageas Bowl.
Last year the England & Wales Cricket Board introduced new guidelines for dealing with concussion injuries at the same time as it made the use of helmets mandatory for batsmen and close fielders within eight yards of the bat on the leg side.
Under the new rules any player suffering from concussion is immediately withdrawn from his current match and faces a minimum of six days out of action, but it could be longer depending on how quickly he passes the ECB's staged recovery plan.
"The feeling from the physio is that he has concussion but that will be shown up later," said Angus Fraser, the Middlesex director of cricket. "It is a freak injury as such but when you see a cricket ball thrown around the field as much as it is you wonder why it has happened more often before. A cricket ball is a hard thing and you are not always watching it. It is a sad thing for Adam and disappointing for us because we are not going to have any more use of him in this game.
"He was not feeling very well in the dressing room so the feeling was let's get him to hospital and checked over. But he feels a lot better and seems to be coming round. He wants to stay down here and remain part of what is happening even if he can't take part on the field."
Voges is the third Middlesex batsman to suffer a head injury in less than a year. Last summer Eoin Morgan's season was ended when he was hit by a bouncer in a one-day international against Australia at Old Trafford, and Chris Rogers collapsed at the crease during a Test match at Lord's after suffering delayed concussion following a blow in the first innings against England. Rogers last week backed the new ECB safety approved helmet with a fixed grille that caused controversy when Alastair Cook refused to wear it in the opening round of the championship season.
Voges was hit by a ball being thrown back from the boundary after it was struck for four by Michael Carberry, the former England opener who on Sunday scored his first championship century since September 2014.
Carberry looked in fine form from the start, striking full balls straight down the ground - after starting the season with disappointing innings of three, 18 and 19.
He reached 50 in 114 balls, before continuing in similar style, timing the ball superbly, and celebrated reaching three figure from 184 deliveries with a crisp back foot shot through extra cover. Carberry put on 100 with Liam Dawson, who is playing as a batsman only due to an abdominal injury, as Hampshire controlled the first day.