Knight’s blow a stark reminder, says Thaiday

BRISBANE Broncos star Sam Thaiday says the tragic injury to young Newcastle Knights forward Alex McKinnon is a chilling reminder one tackle or one big collision can end a player's career.

Thaiday and the rugby league world were in a state of shock yesterday as McKinnon underwent surgery on his neck in Melbourne's Alfred Hospital.

The former Australian Junior Kangaroos captain fractured the C4 and C5 vertebrae in a three-man tackle that went wrong during Monday night's 28-20 loss to the Melbourne Storm at AAMI Park, leaving concerns he may not play again.

Thaiday, recovering from a sore neck himself after being battered during Brisbane's loss to the Roosters, said the rugby league fraternity would rally around the injured McKinnon.

"The thing about the rugby league community is that from the players to the coaches to the fans, everyone rallies behind their injured and supports them," he said.

"It's a very dangerous sport we play and players are going to get put in these positions.

"I don't think anyone is to blame or is at fault, it's the risk we (players) take.

"It's a reminder again after Jharal Yow Yeh's retirement that one tackle, one run, one jump, can end your career.

"Nobody knows if he (McKinnon) will be well enough to keep playing football. We're all hoping he gets up and walks out of hospital, that would be a fantastic result for everyone."

Thaiday said he also felt for the three Storm players, Jesse and Kenny Bromwich and Jordan McLean, who were involved in the tackle just before half-time.

"They'll be feeling very bad right now," Thaiday, approaching NRL 200 games, said.

"But nobody is to blame, nobody should be pointing fingers. We see those tackles all the time. It was a very unfortunate accident."