The freakiest injuries from sports stars of 2015

Sometimes, sports stars are never more in peril than when they’ve stepped away from the action. From the gruesome to the outlandish, brace yourself for some of the more unusual injuries of the sporting year

The freakiest injuries from sports stars of 2015

Eugenie Bouchard, tennis player

Injury:

Concussion

How:

Slipping in the locker room

The Canadian withdrew from the US Open in September after a tumble following her third-round mixed doubles win.

Returning to the changing rooms for an ice bath, Bouchard entered an emergency room, which was dark, and allegedly slipped in a pool of water as she felt for the light, falling backwards and hitting her head on the floor. She is suing the United States Tennis Association, who claim she shouldn’t have been in the room.

Robinson Cano, Seattle Mariners’ second baseman

Injury:

Bang on the head

How:

Was chatting in the visitors’ dugout at Angels Stadium when he was hit on the head by an warm-up overthrow from LA Angels shortstop Taylor Featherston. Cano was taken out of the game suffering headaches and a welt on his forehead, but passed concussion protocols.

Enner Valencia, West Ham forward

Injury:

Cut toe

How:

Stood on a broken tea cup at his home “He cut his big toe quite severely with a broken cup. It had to be stitched up in hospital,” explained manager Sam Allardyce. “It is something we didn’t expect.”

Mark Poland, Down footballer

Injury:

Eye damage

How:

Struck by a ball in the warm-up

Poland missed Down’s Division 2 League final against Roscommon in April when a ball kicked in the warm-up by team-mate Stephen Kane struck him between the eyes. Poland was rushed to hospital with a suspected detached retina, but was cleared to play against Derry in the championship three weeks later.

Drue Tranquill, Notre Dame safety

Injury:

Torn ACL

How:

Celebrating an interception

Tranquill broke up a Georgia Tech pass into the Notre Dame, leaped to celebrate with team-mate Joe Schmidt (no relation) and landed awkwardly, earning himself a season of tranquility on the sidelines.

Vernon Philander, South African all-rounder

Injury:

Torn ankle ligaments

How:

Standing on a team-mate’s foot

Philander was ruled out of the India-South Africa Test series after he accidentally stepped on colleague Dean Elgar’s foot in practice, rolling his ankle. Scans showed extensive ligament damage, ruling him out for at least six weeks.

Henrik Lundqvist, New York Rangers goaltender

Injury:

Sprained blood vessel in his throat

How:

Struck by a puck

Lundqvist was hit in the neck by a shot from Carolina Hurricanes forward Brad Malone, after his throat was exposed because Rangers captain Ryan McDonagh’s stick accidentally lifted his mask. He played on and even played another game, before the issue was diagnosed, after he continued to suffer headaches. Lundqvist could have risked a stroke if he kept playing. He was out of action for two months.

Michael Saunders, Toronto Blue Jays left-fielder

Injury:

Torn knee cartilage

How:

Standing on a sprinkler head

Saunders missed most of the MLB season after he had 60 per cent of the meniscus in his left knee removed after he stook on a sprinkler head during spring training. He managed nine games after surgery but suffered ongoing inflammation that put paid to his year.

Charles Oliveira, UFC fighter

Injury:

Esophageal tear

How:

Fighting Max Holloway

Just 99 seconds into the bout, Oliveira was attempting a takedown when he recoiled in pain and raised a hand in submission. His mystery complaint was later diagnosed as a rare tear of the tube that connects the mouth to the stomach. It is a dangerous condition, as it can allow fluids leak into the chest and cause severe lung problems.

Sebastian Leto, Catania winger

Injury:

Fractured skull

How:

Dropping a barbell The former Liverpool player was treated in intensive care after he dropped the weight during a squat exercise with Argentinian club Lanus, where he was on loan from Catania.

Rory McIlroy, golfer

Injury:

Rupture of left ankle ligaments

How:

Playing five-a-side football

The football injury which disrupted McIlroy’s season was self-inflicted, according to an unnamed friend. “He went into the back of one of the lads to tackle him but ended up going over on his ankle.” To add insult to costly injury, McIlroy’s opponent went on to score.

Kevin Swain, Spartans goalkeeper

Injury:

Scratched eye

How:

Coming for a corner

Swain took an accidental finger to the eyeball in a Lowland League tie with Vale of Leithen. “I came for a cross and someone’s finger ended up in my eye. It left me with an abrasion of my cornea which ran from the corner of my eye right through to the middle. It’s pain I’ve never felt before.”

Willem Coertzen, Olympic decathlete

Injury:

Bone bruising

How:

Dropping weights While bench pressing in the gym, the South Africa dropped a 100kg weight onto his chest. He managed to avoid any fractures but was out of action for six weeks.

Nick Faldo, golfer

Injury:

Cut hand

How:

Impaled on an antler

No, he wasn’t deer-wrestling. Faldo’s preparation for the second round of the Open – his final competitive round at St Andrews – was rather marred when he impaled his middle finger of his right hand on the antler of a wall-mounted deer head while removing his shirt. Faldo had the injury glued in hospital, but the cut probably contributed to him missing his final Open cut.

Scooter Gennett, Milwaukee Brewers second baseman

Injury:

Cut finger

How:

Showering

In his own words: “I tried to grab some body wash, like I would normally grab body wash, and scraped it on the bottom (of the shower rack). I didn’t feel anything then it started bleeding everywhere. At a certain angle, (racks) are sharp. I found the right angle and sliced it open.”

Chris Sale, Chicago White Sox pitcher

Injury:

Fractured foot and sprained ankle

How:

Unloading his truck Sale suffered an avulsion fracture on his right foot when, as White Sox general manager Rick Hahn put it, he “awkwardly got off the back of his truck while unloading items”.

Ronald Belisario, Tampa Bay Rays pitcher

Injury:

Fractured shoulder

How:

Swimming

“He said he had an accident a month ago getting out of a swimming pool,” said Rays’ president of baseball operations, Matt Silverman, sounding a bit sceptical. Belisario only had the injury diagnosed when he arrived for spring training.

Corey Hart, Pittsburgh Pirates outfielder

Injury:

Gashed foot

How:

Relaxing in a hot tub

The baseball practice of putting people on the ‘disabled list’ in order to call up healthy players means we get to learn of every minor knock suffered by an MLB star. So we know, for instance, that Hart had three stitches inserted in March after slicing his foot on a hot tub.

Justin Wilson, Indycar driver

Injury:

Died from head injuries

How:

Flying debris

The British driver was tragically killed in August after he was struck on the head by flying debris from another car.

Yonder Alonso, San Diego Padres first baseman

Injury:

Head knock

How:

A teammate’s strop

After he was tagged out against the Colorado Rockies, Padres outfielder Justin Upton stormed into his dugout in a rage, spiking his helmet angrily to the ground. It bounced up and struck Alonso, knocking him down, who proceeded to have a strop of his own and began tearing the dugout apart.

Lizzie Armitstead, cyclist

Injury:

Concussion

How:

Showboating

As she crossed the line to win the first stage of the Women’s Tour of Britain, the English rider raised her arms in triumph, appeared to lose control, clipped some photographers, brought half the peloton down around her, and wound up in hospital. She pulled out of the event.

Kevin Pillar, Toronto Blue Jays outfielder

Injury:

Oblique strain

How:

Sneezing

A grade-1 oblique strain put Pillar out of spring training for a week in March, when he became the second Blue Jays player to suffer the complaint after a sneeze. The same thing happened Ricky Romero in 2009, after which he developed a fear of sneezing.

RJ Hunter, Georgia State basketball coach

Injury:

Torn achilles

How:

Celebrating victory Amid the delirious on-court scrum following the Panthers’ Sun Belt Conference championship win in New Orleans, Hunter went down and tore his achilles. His son RJ junior had nailed two free throws to win it at the death.

Robbie Brady, Norwich and Ireland midfielder

Injury:

Calf strain

How:

Falling down a hole at Hull

Brady was still a Tiger back in March when he disappeared down some mystery cavity in the Hull City training ground. His gaffer Steve Bruce said: “Unfortunately Brady has fallen down a hole in the training ground and it looks an awful injury, I have to say.”

Rudy Bhebey Ndey, AC Leopards striker

Injury:

Spinal cord damage

How:

Tumbling over opposing goalkeeper

Ndey was fortunate to survive an awful looking injury in an African Confederation Cup between his Congolese side and Egypt’s Zamalek. After the Zamalek keeper saved at his feet, Ndey flipped in the air, landed on his head and reportedly suffered spinal cord concussion, cervical vertebra dislocation, bruises to the spinal cord, breathing difficulties and brain bleeding. Zamalek paid for life-saving surgery for Ndey.

Shane Power, Westmeath hurler

Injury:

Fractured cheekbone and eye damage

How:

Struck by a sliotar in the warm-up

Power missed the Leinster SHC clash with Wexford after he was hospitalised following an accident in the warm-up when he was struck in the face by a stray sliotar. He said: “It was terrifying then because I couldn’t see out of my eye. All I kept thinking was that I had been blinded. Thankfully, after a while the sight started to come back.”

Tim Sherwood, former Aston Villa manager

Injury:

Pulled hamstring

How:

Kicking a water bottle

The then Villa gaffer lashed out in frustration after Carles Gil was denied a penalty in the 2-2 draw with Sunderland last season. Alas, a little like Gil at times, Tim over-complicated things: “I was going to kick the water bottles forward but there were too many people so I thought I’d be polite and back-heel them and that has done my hamstring bad.”

Ellie Day, golfer Jason Day’s wife

Injury:

Suspected concussion and neck injuries

How:

LeBron James collided with her

Ellie was sat courtside at a game between the Cleveland Cavaliers and Oklahoma City Thunder when LeBron James’s momentum took him flying into fans. Day came off worst and was stretchered to hospital in a cervical collar. She was released the next day.

Cavs coach David Blatt commented: “It’s always concerned me, the sideline seats. Always concerned me, because things like that, when you’re talking about players of this speed and physicality and effort level, it’s not a simple thing.”

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