Newcastle's McKinnon placed in induced coma

Last updated 06:30 26/03/2014
FOX Sports

Alex McKinnon suffered a severe spinal injury in an awkward tackle in a NRL match between the Newcastle Knights and Melbourne Storm in March 2014.

Alex McKinnon
Getty Images
CAREER OVER: Newcastle back-rower Alex McKinnon has been placed in an induced coma after undergoing neck surgery.

Relevant offers

League

South Sydney Rabbioths fullback Greg Inglis cleared to take on Gold Coast Titans Warriors coach Andrew McFadden says Sam Tomkins has 'sparked everyone up' New South Wales skipper Robbie Farah says he struggled to breathe after Justin Hodges hit Phil Gould: Origin I a triumph for experience Cooper Cronk field goal lifts Queensland in State of Origin I New South Wales sweat on Robbie Farah for Origin II Recap: State of Origin I - NSW vs Queensland Cooper Cronk proves his worth to Queensland Maroons with decisive field goal State of Origin: Queensland coach Mal Meninga lashes out at critics State of Origin I: How NSW Blues players rated

Newcastle back-rower Alex McKinnon has been placed in an induced coma after undergoing neck surgery.

McKinnon, 22, had emergency surgery early on Tuesday morning in Melbourne to stabilise his neck following a lifting tackle by three players in Monday night's NRL defeat by the Storm.

The surgery consisted of a disc removal at C4 and C5 and anterior fusion.

"He's been in an induced coma just to help with the recovery from the surgery and to make sure there is no movement there," Knights chief executive Matt Gidley told News Corp Australia.

"The scans showed the spinal cord was not cut but they are still determining what damage might have been done there. It's just a real anxious time at the moment."

Knights coach Wayne Bennett said the club would give McKinnon all the help he needed to recover.

"It's sad and extremely disappointing for him. There is not much we can do about it," Bennett said.

"He is getting the best care now and we are giving him all the support we can possibly give him. After that we just have to hope for the best.

"It's tough on all of us. This kind of thing doesn't happen."

The veteran coach, who took McKinnon with him to Newcastle from St George Illawarra when he moved to the Knights in 2012, admitted he was struggling to get his head around what had happened to a player who had been tipped to represent NSW.

"It really does bugger your mind up," Bennett said.

"He is an outstanding young man."

The incident shocked the NRL community, with players from various club taking to social media on Tuesday to express their best wishes towards the NSW Country Origin representative.

Storm prop Jordan McLean's lifting tackle that led to McKinnon's injury was referred straight to a judiciary hearing which has been deferred.

The match review panel on Tuesday announced McLean had been charged with a dangerous throw for his part in the tackle alongside teammates Jesse and Kenny Bromwich and it would go to a hearing because of the serious injury that arose.

Ad Feedback

- AAP

Special offers
Opinion poll

Who is your pick for international league player of the year?

Shaun Johnson

Jesse Bromwich

Sam Burgess

James Graham

Greg Inglis

Johnathan Thurston

Vote Result

Related story: (See story)

Featured Promotions

Sponsored Content