Knights blast Nine over Alex McKinnon 'quadriplegic' report
UPDATE: The Newcastle Knights have blasted a report on Channel 9 that Alex McKinnon has been told he faces life as a quadriplegic.
In a statement on Tuesday, club officials said there 'were no new developments on Monday in regards to Alex McKinnon's condition'.
"The club has continued to provide factual updates in consultation with Alex's family at this delicate time.
"Alex was brought out of an induced coma following his initial surgery last Tuesday and has been conscious since.
"Doctors confirmed Alex had suffered a devastating spinal injury on Wednesday. On Sunday he was able to communicate with his family after his assisted ventilation was removed.
"While Alex's condition continues to improve, his body is in the first phase of recovery.
"As previously shared, he has movement in his right arm and the uncertainty remains in the extent of further recovery. The doctors explained any regeneration and recovery could be up to two years.
"As Alex remains in hospital in a serious but stable condition, visitation is restricted.
"Therefore coach Wayne Bennett visited on Monday without Alex's teammates as initially planned.
The Club is extremely disappointed in the sensationalised television news story on Monday night about this tragic situation.
"One of the most important factors for Alex at this time is hope, which was jeopardised by this report.
"The club and the McKinnons appreciate the respectful way other media have handled and reported on Alex's condition.
"Club staff will continue to stay with Alex and his family in Melbourne and continue to provide any appropriate update in consultation with his family.
"We again request Alex and his family's privacy is respected at this time.
To Members, fans and all who are sending their best wishes, thank you.
All offers of financial and in-kind support are appreciated however our focus remains on Alex. When the time is appropriate, the Club will notify how your contribution can be accepted.
Alex's family including Kate and Scott McKinnon (Alex's parents) and Teigan Power (Alex's partner) issued their own statement.
"We would once again like to thank the public and media for the ongoing show of concern and support for our son and partner, Alex.
"While there is a lot of detail being reported about Alex's condition, it is important to remember that it is still early days for him post-injury.
"Those close to Alex know he is strong, and that he is a fighter and, that alone, is reason to remain hopeful."
Messages of support for Alex and his family can be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org.
All messages we receive will be given to Alex and his family at the appropriate time.
Alex McKinnon faces life as a quadriplegic: report
FORMER Newcastle great Matthew Johns said on Monday night that all of sport and not just rugby league will be in total shock today at the news young Knights forward Alex McKinnon is facing life as a quadriplegic.
The 22-year-old backrower, still in a critical condition in a Melbourne hospital, has only limited feeling in his left arm and faces the heartbreaking likelihood of never being able to walk again.
Johns told Fox Sports last night the tragic news, reported on Channel Nine last night, will reverberate through all sport in Australia.
"Everyone in sport, not just rugby league are in total shock," Johns said.
"It was always a chance it was going to be this type of terrible news but everyone was praying that it wouldn't be.''
The NRL was caught by complete surprise by the report and responded cautiously.
"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," NRL spokeperson Sandy Olsen said.
"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."