Rabbitohs great Nathan Merritt’s recovery from a health scare has continued positively, with the club confirming he is now communicating with those around him.

There were grave fears about the 40-year-old’s health when he was admitted to hospital earlier this month and was placed on life support.

While the club revealed the positive update in a statement on Monday, it still admitted Merritt has a long road ahead in his recovery.

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“Some great news regarding Nathan Merritt. Nath is now able to get out of bed, sit up and speak to people!” the statement read.

“He is recovering well and progressing every day, but has a long way to go to a full recovery.

“Merro asked us to thank all of the Rabbitohs fans for their support and prayers. It means so much to him.”

Merritt is one of the most beloved Rabbitohs players in the club’s recent history, having played 218 games for the club, the fourth-most in Souths history.

He scored 146 tries in his 218 appearances for South Sydney before his retirement at the end of 2014.

Rabbitohs great Nathan Merritt’s condition is “improving slightly” after spending the past few days in a Sydney hospital.

Merritt was rushed to hospital late last week after collapsing while visiting his aunt and was placed on life support.

“We have been advised that Nathan is improving slightly but has a long road to recovery,” Merritt’s sister Teanne wrote on Facebook.

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“We thank everyone, family and friends that have come up to visit Nathan and all the well wishes and kind words from all.

“At present, only immediate family are able to visit Nathan.

“Thank you all for your ongoing love and support.”

Merritt is rated as one of the greatest Rabbitohs to have ever played for the Redfern-based team, with his 218 games for Souths placing him fourth on the club’s list of all-time games.

Of Merritt’s 154 career tries, 146 came in Souths colours before his retirement at the end of 2014.

15 hours ago
Tennessee Athletics

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. – Griffin Merritt’s two home runs highlighted a dominant victory over No. 2/3 Florida in Saturday afternoon’s series finale, as the Volunteers run-ruled the Gators, 14-2, at Lindsey Nelson Stadium.

Making his first start since last Thursday’s series opener at LSU, Merritt led No. 8/11 Tennessee with three hits and a career-high six RBIs on the day, punctuated by a walk-off three-run blast to put the run-rule into effect in the eighth inning.

Drew Beam put forth his best start in conference play, going seven innings strong while tying a career high with 10 strikeouts. The sophomore right hander held Florida’s dangerous lineup scoreless through six innings and allowed just two runs on four hits to pick up his fourth victory of the season.

The Vols’ offensive outburst was aided by 18 walks from Florida pitchers, including six in the first inning alone by Jac Caglianone, who became the second starting pitcher in as many weeks not to make it out of the first inning against the Big Orange. Caglianone recorded just two outs and gave up three runs despite not allowing a hit before being pulled.

UT put up another three spot in the third inning to increase its lead to six. Merritt scored on an error before Cal Stark crushed his third homer of the year, a two-run blast over the porches in left-center field.

Tennessee tacked on two more runs in the fourth, one in the sixth and two in the seventh before Merritt’s game-ending three-run homer in the eighth.

The top five hitters in the Vols’ batting order combined to score 12 runs and draw 11 walks. Christian Moore and Blake Burke did not record a hit but were on base consistently and had three runs and three walks apiece.

Luke Heyman drove in the only two runs for the Gators with a home run in the top of the seventh inning to break up UT’s shutout bid.

UP NEXT: The Vols (22-10, 5-7 SEC) will host Eastern Kentucky on Tuesday, April 11 at 6:30 p.m. before hitting the road to take on Arkansas next weekend.

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