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We've always known Alex McKinnon is a special person but this was as inspirational as it gets.   

Sitting before a packed media conference at Sydney's ANZ Stadium on Monday morning to launch RiseForAlex Round, McKinnon couldn't contain his excitement when asked about this weekend's events named in his honour.

You see, after four months in hospital following his spinal injury back in March, the Newcastle back-rower is understandably itching to return home to see his family and friends.

He is also equally enthused about the opportunity to thank the thousands of people who've offered their well wishes for a speedy recovery.  

It's a positive vibe for McKinnon which will reach fever pitch this Sunday when the Knights host the Gold Coast Titans at Hunter Stadium in RiseForAlex Round.      

On top of witnessing a quality game of football, the entire NRL community will get a chance to unite as one in support of Alex.    

In fact, a dollar will be donated to the RiseForAlex Fund for every person who attends a round 19 match this weekend - a prospect that's extremely humbling for the 22-year-old from the Upper Hunter Valley town of Aberdeen.

“I am really looking forward to getting back to Newcastle and Hunter Stadium this weekend," grinned McKinnon, flanked by coach Wayne Bennett and teammates Willie Mason, Darius Boyd, Dane Gagai and Korbin Sims.   

“I really like the place and everything it’s about and everything the Knights are about. I just can’t wait to get back to Hunter Stadium and see all the people and everyone who has supported me.

“So it will be a really good few days and my first trip away from the hospital in about four months.

“It will be good to get back and just be normal for a bit and not be in hospital and just relax. Not being around all my friends and the boys has been tough.

"I’m a very family orientated person and obviously being in hospital you are away from them a lot.

"That’s one thing I’ve really missed."

McKinnon may have struggled without his teammates and loved ones, but he insists he wouldn't have got through the past few months without their constant calls. 

"The support the boys have showed me, I could never thank them enough," he enthused.

"From Wayne and the Knights to the NRL, they’ve all helped me a lot through the last couple of months.

"Then there’s been the support of my family, so it has been overwhelming.

"Obviously when you get thrown in a situation like this, you don’t know how to handle it, but all the people around me have made it a lot better.

"They’ve motivated me to get back to the person I am and set goals.”

Bennett has always been close with McKinnon, but the veteran mentor admits their friendship has been strengthened through the tough times of the past four months.      

The supercoach says his main source of inspiration has come through Alex's humbling ability to make others feel comfortable when he is the one suffering.        

"Alex was very valued before he got injured, so he is only more valued now," Bennett said frankly.

"Because we all feel his pain. All his teammates were with him on the night and that memory will never go away from any of us.

"I’ve got to say to everyone’s credit, the support has been wonderful for him. But that’s because of the type of person he is.

"He is a pretty outstanding young man and he has even become more outstanding in my eyes since the accident.

"Because he has made sure he has made it easier for all of us. He has worn all the pain and all the grief and all that’s in front of him, but he is more concerned about us and how we feel.

"It’s remarkable what he has done and it’s remarkable the way that he has carried himself and the way that he continues to be motivated.

"He won’t take any short cuts doing that, because he never took any short cuts as a player."

It's why Bennett and everyone close to McKinnon insist he'll also rise above his current spinal injury.  

CLICK HERE to find out how you can #RiseForAlex.

To get your ticket for Sunday's game, CLICK HERE.