See how social media reacted to the tragic news.
The Newcastle Knights and Alex McKinnon has received the worst possible news regarding his spinal injury, which has reportedly left the 22-year-old a quadriplegic.
McKinnon suffered the injury playing against the Melbourne Storm last Monday.
He has since undergone two operations to have a disc removed and to fuse his C4 and C5 vertebrae together.
The second operation also involved a bone graft where a piece was taken from his hip to help support his neck.
The latest statement from the club said McKinnon was breathing by himself and could communicate with his family.
However, the latest news reported by Channel 9 that the rising star will not be able to walk again has left Australian sport in shock and mourning for the loss of a bright career at the Knights.
— Steve Turner (@SteveTurner84) March 31, 2014
My heart goes out to Alex McKinnon can’t believe what’s happen to him my thoughts and prayers go out To him and his family
— josh reynolds (@joshreynolds9) March 31, 2014
Sick in the stomach to here of the news about @mckinnon92 makes u look at life in a different light. Wish him and his close ones every hope
— mitchell pearce (@mitch_pearce7) March 31, 2014
Thoughts and prayers go out to Alex Mckinnon and his family in this tough time. #RiseforAlex
— Blake Ferguson (@Fergyferg4) March 31, 2014
Absolutely sickening news about Alex McKinnon. Thoughts are with him and his family. Hope they all get the support they need.
— sam tomkins (@samtomkins1) March 31, 2014
I’m heartbroken for Alex McKinnon. Devastating news.
— Chris McQueen (@McQueen1070) March 31, 2014
Just heard the news about Alex McKinnon. Wow I’m shattered for him. Really makes you think how good life is
— Nathan Peats (@peats05) March 31, 2014
— aaron woods (@aaronwoods11) March 31, 2014
Absolutely heart breaking hearing the news about Alex McKinnon. Really puts things in perspective. Feel for him, his family and loved ones
— Keith Galloway (@kgalloway85) March 31, 2014
— Wade Graham (@wadegraham17) March 31, 2014