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Alex McKinnon celebrates the Grand Final by walking 80 metres.

It’s Grand Final week, and we’re not just cheering for our favourite teams.

In early 2014, Newcastle Knights back-rower Alex McKinnon was critically injured in an NRL game against the Melbourne Storm. He suffered two fractured vertebrae after a tackle thew him head-first into the ground.

He was told he might never walk again.

But despite his ongoing struggles, McKinnon has refused to accept that he will forever be seated – and today, less than a year and a half after the shock diagnosis, the footballer walked a distance of 80 metres.

Alex McKinnon and fiance Tigean Power.

In an Instagram post, McKinnon celebrated being able to “lock out” his knees when walking in rehabilitation. With the help of trainers, who swung his legs, Alex was able to walk a distance of 80 metres.

You can watch his success here:

With all the support and care from people all around the world I feel it’s important to continue to give people an update of how my progress is going with my Injury. Update: Anybody that has had an injury be it big or small understands the frustration that comes with rehab and the feeling of it being out of your control. Yet you continue to persist to turn up & push to see a change even though sometimes you think it is so far away. This week I had a really good week up on the Gold Coast at @makingstridesau and sore some improvement it the ability to lock out my knees, in this small clip I am in a harness and using a walking frame and the assistants of a trainer to swing my legs through. Though the ability of my legs being able to lock out continually over a long period (80 metres) and not tire is a big improvement for me as I couldn’t not do this before. This may seem small though it is an improvement, I’m a very hard marker on myself and to see a change is big for me. I do my rehab with not only the main goal of being able to walk again in mind but also to stay as healthy & active as possible and to keep my body in the best shape I can so when one day there is a cure of SCI I will be ready. …. Must be cause it’s Grand Final Week, Goodluck.

A video posted by @alexmmckinnon on

“Anybody that has had an injury be it big or small understands the frustration that comes with rehab and the feeling of it being out of your control,” McKinnon wrote.

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“Yet you continue to persist to turn up and push to see a change even though sometimes you think it is so far away.”

In the post, McKinnon said, “I do my rehab with not only the main goal of being able to walk again in mind but also to stay as healthy and active as possible and to keep my body is the best shape…

“Must be [be]cause it’s Grand Final Week, Good luck.”

Since his engagement to childhood sweetheart Tiegan Power, McKinnon has been determined to regain the use of his legs before his wedding day. “#Iwillwalkherdowntheaisle”, he captioned the pair’s engagement announcement.

We wish Alex all the best in his continuing recovery.

What do you think of Alex McKinnon’s rehabilitation success? Have you ever undergone rehabilitation?

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