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Alex McKinnon is set to embark on the next stage of his recovery, departing the Royal North Shore Hospital for a spinal rehabilitation centre.

Recently Alex has had better use of his thumb and index finger on his right hand, which means he can hold a modified fork and drink bottle, or turn the pages of a newspaper.

While further improvements have been minimal in the six weeks since his last update, Alex remains positive and committed to his intense physiotherapy program.

Meanwhile, the NRL announced on Sunday they will make a $1 donation for every fan who attends any Telstra premiership game in Round 19 to assist Alex.

CEO Dave Smith said the RiseForAlex round, from July 18 – 21, would give fans their chance to show their support for Alex.

He said a RiseForAlex Fund has been established to provide ongoing medical and financial support for Alex.

“Wherever I go, people are moved by Alex’s spirit and determination and they want to do their bit to help him,” Mr Smith said.

“The rugby league community has already offered Alex a job for life and we believe he has a huge contribution to make to our game.

“But now we are giving the fans a chance to show their support through the RiseForAlex round – and every supporter will be able to help him, just but turning up to see their team play.”

Among the other initiatives planned for the RiseForAlex round are:

  • Establishing an entertainment precinct at Hunter Stadium which will feature a concert by Jessica Mauboy and other artists as well as children’s and family activities
  • The sale of RiseForAlex wristbands at all grounds so fans can demonstrate their support long after the matches are finished
  • Fundraising activities will also take place at the other seven arenas used for NRL matches during Round 19

Further initiatives will be announced in the lead up to Round 19.

Mr Smith called on the NRL community to support the Fund so Alex could concentrate on his rehabilitation and recuperation.

He thanked media partners Nine, FOX Sports, Austereo, Macquarie Radio and News Ltd for working with the NRL on the RiseForAlex round. 

“The RiseForAlex Fund will act independently and will continue to provide support for Alex,” Mr Smith said.

“We want to get off to a strong start and the great thing is that every fan can make a difference – just by attending a game.”