Top 5 weirdest injuries in sports history

7 June 2018

Part of the appeal of sports is that it can be so exciting and unpredictable. However, it does come with its unique set of risks. Everyone knows that the more active you are, the more likely injury will become, whether from an awkward fall or a bad turn or landing. Professional athletes in particular often endure all kinds of injuries, though not always in the most traditional manner. Here at Think Sport, we have compiled a list of some of the most unconventional injuries incurred by sportspeople, and how you can avoid making the same mistake.

Professional athletes all experience their fair share of injuries, though some more bizarre than others

Lionel Simmons - Tendinitis

No one ever thinks about the type of injuries that you could encounter while playing video games. After all, how can you hurt yourself with an activity that involves a whole lot of sitting down? However, in 1991, basketball star Lionel Simmons discovered the dark side of gaming when he developed tendinitis in his wrist and forearm after playing too much on his Nintendo GameBoy. His coach at the time remarked on the injury that "It's not unusual for Lionel to be focused on something, but to hurt himself like that?" Embarrassing, or what?

HOW TO PREVENT IT: If you also lead a double life of sports and intense video gaming, we suggest using the Vulkan AirXtend Wrist Support for a non-restrictive wrist brace that keeps injury at bay.

Sammy Sosa - Sprained Ligaments

Back injuries are nothing to sneeze at, especially if you're a baseball player. Shortly after arriving in the clubhouse before a big game in 2004, Chicago Cubs star Sammy Sosa experienced this first hand when two particularly violent sneezes brought on back spasms that caused him to sprain the ligaments in his lower back. Not only did Sosa have to skip the game due to being in the treatment room, he also landed himself on the disabled list, missing a further two weeks of games. So remember, don't take safe sneezing for granted.

HOW TO PREVENT IT: While we can't offer much advice on the sneezing front (perhaps some antihistamines?), what we can recommend is the Neo G Waist/Back Support to help reduce stress on the lower back during intense sports or everyday activities.

Bill Gramatica - Torn ACL

Everyone loves a winner, right? Bill Gramatica certainly does... In 2001, the American football player got so pumped about a 42-yard field goal early in a game (so not even a win yet) that he celebrated with an enthusiastic fist pump into the air... only to stiff the landing. The player tore the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL), an important internal stabiliser in the knee joint, which cost him an entire season of play. Luckily, he has a good sense of humour about it. In 2010, he remarked that "My jump was excellent, it was my landing I needed to work on... I talk about it all the time. You have to laugh about it."

HOW TO PREVENT IT: A better landing, and perhaps a Donjoy Reaction Knee Brace wouldn't have done too much harm either.

Cal Ripken - Broken Nose

While All-Star baseball player Cal Ripken had played thousands of successive games without breaking a single bone, in July 1996 he ended up breaking his nose in the most unfortunate way thanks to one of his teammates. But not in the way you think... Ripken hadn't found himself in a scrap with a fellow player, or even injured himself during a game. In fact, the incident occurred during a photoshoot, when someone slipped on a platform and ended up striking Ripken in the face, resulting in a very bloody, and very disjointed, nose.

HOW TO PREVENT IT: We don't have any products to help increase your teammates' spacial awareness, however you needn't let a broken nose stop the show going on. The Mueller Nose Guard is perfect for protecting injured noses so that you can remain active while healing.

Paulo Diogo - Severed Finger

This injury is particularly gruesome as the person in question has been left with a permanent reminder of it. In December 2004, Paulo Diogo, a Swiss football player of Portuguese descent, was so over the moon to assist a goal late in a game that he decided to scale a perimeter fence and salute the fans. The recently married player failed to notice that that his newly obtained wedding ring was caught on the fence, until he jumped down and... well, neither the ring or finger came back with him. To add insult to injury, Diogo even got a yellow card for 'excessive time wasting' during his celebration, as match officials frantically searched for the rest of the lost digit. Unfortunately, doctors were not able to re-attach the severed finger and instead performed an amputation on the remaining stump.

HOW TO PREVENT IT: This was more a cautionary tale to not wear jewellery - wedding rings or otherwise - when practising sports (or in this case, climbing fences). However, we do offer a range of medical bags that stock comprehensive materials to at least stem the bleeding until you get to hospital...

Simple aids like wrist and knee braces can help prevent injuries from getting worse

Have you, or has anyone you know, experienced any strange sports injuries akin to these? Tell us your stories in the comments below, or reach out to us on Twitter or Facebook!