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8 of the most unthinkable acts in sport’s weird injury Hall of Fame


Glenn Maxwell missed the 2022-23 summer of cricket, after breaking his leg at a 50th birthday party. It prompts us to review some of the weirdest and most bizarre mishaps to athletes we’ve ever seen.

Glenn Maxwell missed the 2022-23 summer of cricket in what can only be described as a freak accident.

At the 50th birthday party of one of his high school teachers, he managed to break his leg in an unfortunate mishap.

Thankfully for Maxy, he’s not the first and won’t be the last to miss time thanks to a freakish setback away from the sporting arena they are known for excelling in.

We’ve heard some truly wild stories of other freak injuries over the years –- let’s take a look.

Most freakish injuries to athletes away from the sporting arena

We’ve decided there are no rules, but for the most part we’ll focus on things that happened away from athletes’ chosen arenas. But then again, some just have to be mentioned.

Wayne ‘Buck’ Shelford – taking ‘ballsy’ to a new level

We’ll start back in the ’80s, and within the field of play for this one.

An All Blacks legend, Shelford was renowned for his toughness, and this is the pinnacle of playing on.

In a match against France in 1986, Shelford was at the bottom of a ruck and copped a boot to the face, losing three teeth.

Definitely unlucky, as far as sports injuries go, but it gets crazier.

After getting up and continuing, he copped a boot to the groin later in the game, before realising he’d not only split open his scrotum, but nearly lost a testicle from the blow.

We’ll let him tell the full story:

@allblacks 😱 Wait till the end… One of the toughest men to ever play rugby. #allblacks #rugby #bringbackbuck #injury #hardman ♬ original sound – AllBlacks

Mitch Marsh – Not that kind of back-foot punch

Sometimes the pressure in a sporting match gets a little too much.

Marsh found that out the hard way back in a Sheffield Shield game against Tasmania back in 2019.

Dismissed for 53 in the first over of the day, Marsh punched the wall of the WACA dressing room after returning to the sheds, breaking a bone and tearing several ligaments in his hand.

Marsh certainly learned his lesson, having to relinquish his spot in Australia’s test side as he recovered from the injury.

It’s a good lesson in dealing with pressure – don’t let it get to you!

cricket, australia, mitch marsh, glenn maxwell, injuries
Two of Australia’s great modern all-rounders have got caught up in unfortunate off-field incidents.

Corey Webster – When avocados attack

One of the more gruesome freak injuries you’ll hear.

NZ Breakers star Corey Webster missed multiple games of the 2021-22 NBL season after he sustained a hand injury… cutting an avocado.

Webster described that he became frustrated with a particularly stubborn avocado pit, so decided to try and stick the knife into the pit.

But it split open and the knife not only went straight through the avocado, but Webster’s hand too.

The extent of the injury was quite severe – Webster severed the nerve in his palm… which is important for dribbling a basketball! He said he was lucky to miss the bones, tendons and ligaments with the knife.

Dana Hooker – lockdown lunch gone wrong

The way this list is going, we’re definitely learning that athletes should take care using knives.

West Coast Eagles AFLW star Dana Hooker is another casualty of a kitchen mishap, which, incredibly, ended her 2021 season after just one game.

During a snap-lockdown in Perth, Hooker was making lunch for herself and her daughter, and reached across the bench for a bag of bread rolls.

But she bumped a knife that was sitting on the bench, which fell and hit her foot.

It didn’t just leave a cut, though, it completely lacerated a tendon in her foot, so much so that the ends of the severed tendon were sitting a centimetre apart from each other.

Have you got a bizarre injury story you want to share? Join the discussion on Twitter or Instagram:

Jonny Bairstow and Josh Inglis – some un-fore-tunate luck

2022 is not the year for cricketers playing golf.

Bairstow and Inglis have both been victim to some unfortunate luck on the golf course this year, with some truly bizarre situations unfolding.

Bairstow was dealt the unlucky one-two punch of a dislocated ankle and a broken fibula, remarkably after slipping over as he walked too the tee during a round of golf.

But the extent of the injury doesn’t stop there, with the ‘keeper describing that he’d done a ‘proper job’ on his ankle, breaking his fibula in three places, and damaging his syndesmosis joint and lateral ligament as part of the dislocation.

The injury kept Bairstow out of the T20 World Cup, and is likely to keep him sidelined until at least the beginning of 2023.

Inglis, meanwhile, wasn’t quite as unlucky, but the timing of his injury was unfortunate, ruling him out of the T20 World Cup on the eve of the tournament.

In another incredibly strange incident, Inglis suffered a severe cut after his golf club snapped in his hands, with the ‘keeper hospitalised as he needed to get his hand examined.

Inglis missed the entire T20 World Cup tournament, but the injury hasn’t sidelined him for long, as he’ll captain Australia’s PM’s XI against the West Indies later this month.

Jason Pierre-Paul – fireworks aren’t to be messed with!

It wouldn’t be a list of sporting ‘freak injuries’ without Jason Pierre-Paul, but this incident is a stark reminder to be cautious with fireworks.

At a fourth of July holiday cookout in 2015, Pierre-Paul had purchased $1100 worth of fireworks for his friends, family and the neighbourhood to enjoy.

He had success detonating all but the last handful of the fireworks, but a mishap lighting the last few, saw Pierre-Paul virtually destroy his hand as the fireworks went off.

In the end, his hand needed a major re-structure, with some of his fingers being amputated, but remarkably, he returned to play for his then NFL side the New York Giants during the 2016 season.

Aron Baynes – changeroom slip-up

Those “slippery when wet” signs are getting at something.

Baynes’ campaign at the Tokyo Olympics was cut unfortunately short after he aggravated a neck injury by slipping over in the changeroom bathrooms.

Having injured his neck in the Boomers’ game against Italy, Baynes was already on ice, but a slip in the bathroom after he left the court accentuated the severity of his injury and Baynes was taken to hospital for more testing.

He missed the rest of the Tokyo Olympics, but has since returned to fitness and basketball.

Jordan de Goey and Tom Trbojevic – believe it, or not?

Manly Sea Eagles star Tom Trbojevic missed the first few rounds of the 2021 NRL season after suffering a hamstring injury from, what he said, was slipping in the shower.

But footage surfaced of Trbojevic in a footrace with a fan down The Corso in Manly the night before, creating plenty of suspicion as to the nature of his injury.

There was plenty of discussion as to whether Trbojevic, who was returning from an injury-riddled 2020 season, had injured himself on the night out.

But both Trbojevic and the club were adamant that his hamstring injury and the video from his night out were unrelated, so, we’ll let you decide.

Sometimes sports stars fib.

And in a comparable situation to Turbo, Jordan de Goey in 2017 suffered a broken hand.

He informed Collingwood that he’d sustained the injury while playing frisbee with his dog, but later revealed that he’d been involved in a fight on a night out.

He was subsequently fined $5000 by the club, and suspended for three games once he returned from injury.

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