New Brisbane Bandits pitcher Loek van Mil. Picture: AAP Image/Josh Woning
New Brisbane Bandits pitcher Loek van Mil. Picture: AAP Image/Josh Woning

Bandits pitcher critical after off-field accident

Brisbane Bandits pitcher Loek van Mil was responding to wellwishers in a Canberra hospital last night as he recovered from serious head injuries suffered in a bushwalking accident.

Van Mil remains in hospital in a "critical but stable" condition after suffering bleeding on the brain, Bandits baseball club CEO Mark Ready said today.

The Dutch international pitcher, who a hiker discovered injured, was in Canberra for games.

Increasingly frantic teammates and management did not know for many hours of van Mil's whereabouts.

"He fractured his head on rocks and suffered bleeding on the brain ... multiple fractures," Ready said.

"He lay unconscious for 24 hours in bushland until he was found by a hiker. (It was) touch and go, but he has gone from gravely injured to critical but stable.

"I'm here with him by his bedside and I've seen him improve a lot in the last 24 hours.

"He's talking and managed a smile and a joke today."

The bleeding to his brain is the big issue to be monitored by doctors.

Van Mil, a Dutch international who has also played professionally in the United States, was previously reported on Monday as being injured in circumstances unrelated to baseball.

The Bandits had been in Canberra for a four-game series against the city's Australian Baseball League team and played a game on Sunday which they won despite immense concern over van Mil.

A family member had left The Netherlands to be at van Mil's hospital bedside in Canberra.

Van Mil, 34, joined the Bandits for the current ABL season after previously playing for Adelaide.

Van Mil, the club's 215cm designated closer, last played last Thursday in Brisbane's win over Canberra, being credited with the save.