The tackle: Alex McKinnon is crushed under three Storm defenders. Photo: Fox Sports
The NRL has given Melbourne permission to select youngster Jordan McLean for their clash with Canterbury at NIB Stadium in Perth.
McLean was referred straight to the judiciary for his role in a tackle that resulted in Newcastle forward Alex McKinnon suffering what his club described as a "devastating spinal injury" while Newcastle assistant coach Rick Stone described the incident as a "freak accident". McLean's hearing will be on Wednesday.
The Storm sought leave from the NRL judiciary for McLean to be available for selection against the Bulldogs. Under NRL rules, any player facing a charge under the judiciary code is not permitted to play until the case has been heard.
However, the judiciary code also makes provision for the player's club to seek leave from the judiciary chairman. Storm officials believe playing this weekend will help McLean deal with the fallout.
The NRL announced on Thursday the McLean will be allowed to play.
McKinnon, described as a potential future Blues player by NSW coach Laurie Daley, suffered fractures of his C4 and C5 vertebrate, and underwent emergency surgery to stabilise his neck. The full extent of the injury remains unclear.