Newcastle Knights forward Alex McKinnon is facing the fight of his life as he was told by doctors that he will forever be a quadriplegic.
McKinnon,22, was diagnosed as a quadriplegic and told by doctors he may never walk again after being tackled against the Storm in Melbourne eight days ago. McKinnon had been placed in a coma after breaking two vertebrae.
McKinnon has undergone underwent emergency surgery, which consisted a disc removal of his C4 and C5 vertebrae and anterior fusion. Doctors also inserted a steel plate and a bone graft from his hip over the damaged vertebrae to protect the spinal cord.
McKinnon was reported to have been able to communicate with his family for the first time since his accident. Doctors hope with years of intensive physiotherapy his condition could improve as his spinal cord is not severed.