It has been a long 10 weeks since the rugby league world was shaken by the tackle that saw 22-year-old Alex McKinnon paralysed.
But those weeks have been even longer for Storms player Jordan McLean who made the fateful tackle.
In a interview with News Limited, McLean has opened up about what it has been like to deal with the aftermath since the accident and how he hasn’t been able to phone McKinnon: “I just don’t know what to say.”
McLean, known to friends and family as a “gentle giant”, is the same age as McKinnon and says he has had to grow up and mature a lot since the accident, dealing with an unimaginable situation for a country kid trying to make it big in NRL.
“I’ve never dealt with cameras being in my face and pictures being taken, and all that stuff.
“It was pretty full on.
But McLean says he doesn’t want people to feel sorry for him.
“It was a bad accident. No-one wants to see people end up like that. No one wants to see people hurt in that way.
“I don’t want people to have any sympathy for me.”
While not being able to bring himself to personally call McKinnon yet, McLean has maintained strong lines of communication with players from the Knights and contacts with the Storms to keep up-to-date with McKinnon’s progress.
“I don’t know how I’d deal with that kind of situation,” he said. “He must be a very strong-willed kind of fella.
“And he seems very positive, which is great.
“I just want to wish Alex the best in his recovery and his rehabilitation.”
Moving forward for McLean however is probably going to be the most difficult part of the ordeal, but he says he has had lots of support from the club and fans.
“The club was awesome.
“I’d like to thank them for that, too, because it has really helped me along the way.
“It will always be in the back of your mind. But I just want to try to get back to playing good footy and back into the NRL team.”
Read more here.
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