NRL: Knights' McKinnon fractures spine

Knights players huddle as Alex McKinnon is prepared to be carried off on a stretcher. Photo / AP
Knights players huddle as Alex McKinnon is prepared to be carried off on a stretcher. Photo / AP

Newcastle utility forward Alex McKinnon suffered a serious neck injury during his side's NRL defeat to the Melbourne Storm last night however it will be a number of days or weeks until the extent of his injury is known.

Scan results confirm McKinnon suffered a fracture at C4 and C5 in his neck. A Knights press release said his spinal cord is not severed but the doctors are unsure about the level of spinal cord compromise.

The 22-year-old landed on his head in an awkward tackle by Storm forwards Jesse Bromwich, his brother Kenny and Jordan McLean.

The tackle, which happened 30 seconds from halftime, was put on report by referee Gerard Sutton.

McKinnon's family have arrived in Melbourne and are with him, along with club doctor Peter McGeoch and club officials.

Melbourne skipper Cameron Smith protested that the tackle was made worse by McKinnon ducking his head.

"I don't want to see that happen to anyone in our game but if he doesn't duck his head it doesn't happen,'' Smith told the referee.

- AAP

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