Melbourne Storm players are doing their best to support teammate Jordan McLean, who is “just getting by” ahead of his NRL judiciary appearance over the tackle that broke Alex McKinnon’s neck.
McLean will face the NRL judiciary on Wednesday night for his role in the tackle that left Newcastle’s McKinnon with a broken neck and reportedly a quadriplegic.
Back-rower Ryan Hinchcliffe said the focus should be on McKinnon, who remains in a Melbourne hospital and will be transfered to Sydney for further care, but acknowledged that the tragic injury had “taken the edge off” around the Storm.
He said the players felt for McLean.
“Jordan’s OK,” he said.
“He’s just getting by I suppose and our thoughts and our prayers are with Alex at the moment and we just hope that he’s going to be OK.
“We’re all feeling for Alex at the moment and we’re here to support him 100 per cent and we’re here to support our teammate.”
McLean, 22, stands 196cm and weighs 111kg but typifies the description of “gentle giant”.
He moved from Young in country NSW to Melbourne as a 17-year-old before finally launching his first grade career this season.
Hinchcliffe described his teammate as a fine person.
“He’s a great person, he’s a really, really great bloke.
“He’s always doing things for other people.
“Jordan’s come into first grade this year and has played really well and earned his position.
“It’s just unfortunate the events that have happened.”
Hinchcliffe is set to play his 150th NRL game against the Titans on Sunday at AAMI Park.
He said he couldn’t question the way he played the game because of the incident.
“Footy’s been played for a long time and we just go out there and do what we do,” he said.
“We practice it every day at training and sometimes there’s some freak accidents and I think that’s what’s happened with Alex.”