NSFW: Rugby player Alex McKinnon paralyzed after landing on neck

Australian professional rugby league player Alex McKinnon has been diagnosed as a quadriplegic after landing on his neck during a game. McKinnon, who plays for the Newcastle Knights, was tackled during a game and, as you can see in the very graphic video above, he flipped and landed hard on the back of his neck.

McKinnon broke two vertebrae during the game last Monday and was placed in a coma, the Sydney Morning Herald reported. The 22-year-old awoke Sunday to learn that doctors believe the accident has left his arms and legs paralyzed.

Still, his colleagues and family members won’t be deterred by the news. The chief executive of his team, Matthew Gidly, said, “Alex is in the first phase of his recovery and we hope his progress continues.” McKinnon’s parents have stayed at his bedside.

McKinnon has already started physical therapy, and Nine Network reported that the rehabilitation may help McKinnon improve his condition since his spinal cord was not severed.

Allegedly, McKinnon’s first words when he woke up were to ask for lemonade, though he was not permitted to actually swallow it — the beverage was dabbed on his lips instead, reports the Herald.

McKinnon has already undergone emergency surgery and another procedure to insert a steel plate and bone graft over his damaged vertebrae to protect his spinal cord.

Follow Andrea Park on Twitter: @andreapark



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