McKinnon transferred to Sydney spinal ward
April 17th, 2014, 04:39 PMNewcastle have confirmed Alex McKinnon has been transferred from the intensive care unit at Melbourne's Albert Hospital to a spinal rehabilitation ward in a Sydney hospital.
The stricken Knights' back-rower suffered a serious spinal injury during a clash with Melbourne in round three when he landed on his neck following a lifting tackle by Storm prop Jordan McLean.
McLean was suspended for seven matches following the incident at AAMI Park and the NRL this week announced a crackdown on players who used lifting tackles to put opponents in a dangerous position.
The Knights said in a statement the 22-year-old has shown a small improvement in his condition as he begins rehab to try to walk again.
"Movement in Alex's right arm is improving and he has started to get movement in his left arm," the statement read.
"Alex is able to control an electronic wheelchair. As previously advised, further regeneration may occur over a two-year timeframe.
"While there is a long road ahead for Alex, these small improvements continue to lift his spirits, as does the overwhelming amount of support he is receiving.
"Alex and his family wish to thank the medical team at Melbourne's Alfred Hospital for the acute care and treatment following his injury.
"They also wish to thank the hospital staff currently managing his progress."