The NSW Blues have been named for the first game of the 2017 #Origin series.
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Alex McKinnon has made a small advancement in his recovery on Sunday.
He has had his assisted ventilation removed and can now communicate with his family.
His breathing will be monitored while undertaking intense physiotherapy before the next stage, which will hopefully involve a transfer to Sydney.
Alex's father Scott again wished to thank everyone for the continued support.
"It has been a highly emotional day for us and this is just a small stage in a long journey," Scott McKinnon said.
"Once again, we can't thank everyone enough for the prayers and well wishes we have received for Alex and our family."