Melbourne Storm prop Jordan McLean has been suspended for seven weeks for a tackle on Newcastle player Alex McKinnon that left the 22-year-old back-rower with serious spinal injuries.
McKinnon, according to various media reports, was told he was a paraplegic by doctors after he suffered massive damage to his C4 and C5 vertebrae. He was brought out of a coma at the weekend after surgery last Tuesday.
McLean’s lawyer Nick Ghabar, according to an ABC News report, told the NRL judiciary the tackle — which also involved Storm players Jesse and Kenny Bromwich — was a tragic accident, made worse by the fact McKinnon “unfortunately and unwittingly” tucked his head into his chest.
The judiciary accepted the dangerous tackle was not intentional, and that the involvement of the other players was a contributing factor, though said McLean was careless and was largely to blame, according to The ABC.
Melbourne Storm chief executive Mark Evens said the club may appeal.
“The first point I want to make along with everyone in rugby league I think it is really important that all our best wishes go to the young fella who is still very seriously injured,” he said.
“That can’t be obscured by anything that happens in the judiciary process.
“We came here tonight feeling that the tackle was a terrible accident. [It] was really no different to hundreds of tackles you see like that in the NRL every season.”
There’s more here.
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