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He's only 22, but Alex McKinnon may never walk again.

Newcastle Knights back-rower Alex McKinnon given a devastating diagnosis

 UPDATED 02/04: Jordan McLean found guilty of ‘dangerous throw’ on Alex McKinnon

Melbourne Storm player Jordan McLean has been found guilty of a ‘dangerous throw’ against Alex McKinnon, for the tackle that left McKinnon a possible paraplegic.

The ruling was made by a three-man NRL judiciary panel consisting of ex-players Bob Lindner, Mal Cochrane and Chris McKenna.

The panel are hearing further submissions as to the penalty that McLean should receive.

NRL counsel are asking for a penalty of seven to 11 weeks. This proposal takes into account the classification of the tackle as a ‘dangerous throw’, as well as the seriousness of McKinnon’s injury.

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It’s impossible to fathom.

A young man with his life at his feet – doing the job he dreamed of.

Ready for stardom. Love. Life. A prestigious career as a professional athlete.

But for Newcastle Knights back-rower Alex McKinnon, life has taken a turn no-one could have ever predicted.

The 22-year-old has been told by doctors that he may never walk again – and will live life as a quadriplegic.

The upcoming young footballer was injured in a game against Melbourne Storm after a tackle broke two of his vertebrae eight days ago.

Nine News revealed last night that Alex McKinnon has undergone surgery to fuse his C4 and C5 vertebrae together.

Eight days ago he was injured in this tackle

And has since been woken from his induced coma and given the tragic news.

The NRL hesitantly commented on the Nine News report, with NRL spokeperson Sandy Olsen stating, “I understand this has been reported on Channel 9 but we’ve not received this advice by the Knights or Alex’s family in regards to these reports.”

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“Out of regard for Alex and his family, it is not appropriate to comment at this time.

“Our thoughts continue to be with Alex for his recovery. The NRL and the Knights are providing all the support we possibly can at this time.”

The Daily Telegraph say that the injury will renew debate on tackles in this code.

Director of St Vincents Hospital Emergency Department, Professor Gordian Fulde, who did not comment on Alex McKinnon’s case, described the diagnosis of quadriplegia as “a life sentence”.

“I think this is going to stimulate the whole matter of how people are tackled because the neck vertebrae in a human are very fragile,” he told News Limited.

Support for the young footballer from the Hunter region in NSW was trending on social media yesterday, with tributes from sporting figures such as Australian three-time Paralympic champion Kurt Fearnley offering his best.

His parents Kate and Scott,  who are by his side, and his girlfriend Teigan Power issued a statement last week to thank the public for the support they had received so far.

“We wish to thank the public and the media for the tremendous support and words of concern we have already received for our son and partner.”

The Sydney Morning Herald states, “Quadriplegia is a condition of paralysis in which a person loses complete or partial use of all limbs and the torso.

Alex McKinnon and his partner, Teigan Power

The definition itself doesn’t mean someone won’t improve with treatment or time”.

We wish Alex McKinnon and his family and friends the very best during his treatment and recovery.