10 Of The Most Unusual Injuries In Sporting History

You won't believe the crazy injuries that have sidelined athletes over the years

11/07/2016 17:17

Injuries are a common issue in the world of elite sports, from the hamstring strains and ACL tears that plague footballers to rugby players' ankle sprains and concussions.

Not so ordinary? The freak injuries that happen off the pitch.

Like running a bath for your twin daughters and hurting your knee so badly in the process that it requires you to have the first surgical operation of your career - something Roger Federer knows a thing or two about.

The 17-time grand slam champ underwent arthroscopic surgery to repair a torn meniscus in his knee earlier this year for that very reason. 

"I woke up, I don't know exactly remember what happened. I think I was going to run a bath for the girls," he explained.

"I made a very simple movement, turned back, heard a click in my knee. I went to the zoo. My leg was swollen."

Federer is the latest in a long line of sportsmen to have been sidelined by an injury that's just plain bizarre.

Here are 10 more of the most unusual injuries in sporting history... 

  • 1 Svein Grøndalen's moose collision
    Kyslynskyy via Getty Images
    In the 1970s, the Norway defender went for a jog in the woods to improve his stamina... and ended up crashing into a moose.

    The collision caused him to roll down a hill and sustain a cut in his left leg, forcing him to withdraw from an international fixture against Finland. His feelings of regret about the situation? Enor-moose - we'd wager.
  • 2 Jaret Holmes' and Chris Hanson's fondue incident
    Andy Lyons via Getty Images
    Talk about crash and burn: when Jacksonville Jaguars punter Chris Hanson and team kicker Jaret Holmes were having dinner one evening in 2002, both American footballers ended up severely burned when a fondue pot they were moving slipped and dropped onto the tile floor. Fortunately for Hanson, who punted with his left foot, the first and second-degree burns he sustained were on his hands and right ankle.

    Unfortunately for Hanson, that wasn't the only freak injury of his sporting career: his 2003 season ended abruptly after sustaining a gash in the the locker room - chopping a block of wood with the team's "motivational" axe during a team meeting. The gash - also on his right foot - required surgery.
  • 3 Lionel Simmons' Game Boy thumb
    Brad Mangin via Getty Images
    Wrist sprains and jammed fingers are some of the most common basketball injuries you'll see, as a result of the ball hitting a straight finger and causing an unnatural bending motion in the joint.

    Well, it turns out you can damage your hands just as badly from the comfort of your couch: "Gameboy thumb" is real.

    Back in 1991, Sacramento Kings rookie Lionel Simmons played GameBoy so incessantly that he ended up with tendonitis in his right wrist and forearm. The small forward missed two games as a result. We'll never know if the sacrifice was worth it to rescue Princess Daisy in "Super Mario Land".
  • 4 Darius Vassell's DIY disaster
    Alex Livesey via Getty Images
    You know the saying, if you want something done, you need to do it yourself?That's not always strictly true: back when Darius Vassell was a forward for Aston Villa in the early Noughties, he missed three games in 2002 after drilling through his toenail with a home power drill.

    Don't worry - he had a reason: he'd been suffering from a swollen toe and thought his solution would relieve the pressure and drain some blood. Needless to say, it didn't, and part of the toenail had to be removed after it became infected as a result. Oops.
  • 5 Wade Boggs' sofa scrape
    Darren Carroll via Getty Images
    Sometimes, the shoe just doesn't fit - as Wade Boggs, a third baseman with an 18-year pro baseball career playing for the Boston Red Sox, New York Yankees and Tampa Bay Devil Rays, knows all too well.

    In June 1986, he was in his hotel room, trying to remove his cowboy boots, when he lost his balance and fell over onto the sidearm of the couch. The fall caused breathing problems and bruised ribs, preventing Boggs from running for the next couple of games. He was sidelined for six games after that.
  • 6 Chic Brodie's dog drama
    Getty Images/iStockphoto
    For Brentford goalkeeper, Chic Brodie, a freak accident involving a sheepdog running onto the pitch during a game in October 1970 and shattering his kneecap was enough to end his career. "The dog might have been a small one, but it just happened to be a solid one," Brodie said of the incident.

    He's not the only sportsman thinking it's a dog-eat-dog world out there: in 1999, Barnsley midfielder Darren Barnard was sidelined for five months after slipping in a puddle of his pup's pee on the kitchen floor, tearing his knee ligaments.

    More recently, in 2008, Stoke City's Liam Lawrence tripped over his pet labrador, which caused his ankle to give way. 
  • 7 Rio Ferdinand's TV knee
    Arfa Griffiths via Getty Images
    Sometimes, doing absolutely nothing at all can get you seriously injured.

    Just ask England defender Rio Ferdinand. After leaving his leg propped up on a coffee table for four hours while watching television, Ferdinand ended up with a tendon strain in his knee (during his spell at Leeds United).

    He's not the only footballer to have sustained a TV-related injury: England goalkeeper David James once pulled a muscle in his back from reaching for the remote control.
  • 8 Erik Johnson's golf cart caper
    Michael Martin via Getty Images
    Erik Johnson, a hockey player for the St. Louis Blues and Colorado Avalanche, was definitely feeling below par when he tore the ACL in his right knee after getting his foot stuck between a golf cart's accelerator and brake during the St. Louis Blues' annual golf outing.

    The defence man missed the entire 2008-2009 season as a result.
  • 9 Richard Wright's signpost slam
    Matthew Lewis via Getty Images
    Everton goalkeeper Richard Wright managed to get injured during a pre-match warm-up: he ignored a sign instructing players to use temporary goals for their warm-up and twisted his ankle after falling onto the sign, which ruled him out of Everton's FA cup fourth-round replay at Chelsea.

    On another occasion, he damaged his shoulder falling through a loft - while packing suitcases.
  • 10 Lionel Letizi's Scrabble scrap
    JACQUES DEMARTHON via Getty Images
    Back when he was goalkeeper for Paris Saint-Germain, Lionel Letizi missed a game in 2002 after he "completely put his back out"... the result of bending over to pick up a Scrabble tile. We can only hope it got him a triple-triple word score.
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