Top 10 Horrific Sports Injuries



Top 10 Horrific Sports Injuries

VOICE OVER: Rebecca Brayton
Script written by Clayton Martino

Sometimes athletes push their bodies a little too far. Join as we count down our picks for the Top 10 Horrific Sports Injuries. For this list, we're looking at the most horrific and cringe worthy injuries suffered by athletes.

Special thanks to our users mrprez180, Tony Brown, alex18marshall, Gamerchick21, Ryan Miller, nrm7141, Npngreen and cmr_reed for submitting the idea on our Interactive Suggestion Tool at http://www.WatchMojo.comsuggest

Script written by Clayton Martino

Top 10 Horrific Sports Injuries

Sometimes athletes push their bodies a little too far. Join as we count down our picks for the Top 10 Horrific Sports Injuries.

For this list, we’re looking at the most horrific and cringe worthy injuries suffered by athletes. However, we’re not including injuries resulting in death, nor are we including those injuries suffered as the result of malicious intent, as we already have those covered in our Top 10 Unsportsmanlike Moments in Pro Sports video. Some of these injuries are extremely graphic, so viewer discretion is advised.

#10: Trent McCleary
Injury: Fractured Larynx

Hockey players are some of the most fearless athletes out there. On January 29th, 2000, Montreal Canadiens forward Trent McCleary proved it by dropping to the ice to block a slapshot from Philadelphia Flyers’ defenseman Chris Therien. The puck hit McCleary in his throat from only a few feet away, however, fracturing his larynx and causing a collapsed lung. McCleary was minutes away from dying on the ice, but the medical staff at the Montreal arena was able to partially open his airway and he was rushed to hospital for an emergency tracheotomy so rushed McCleary was still in his skates during the procedure. But the operation saved his life

#9: Anderson Silva
Injury: Broken Fibula

Anderson “The Spider” Silva currently holds the Ultimate Fighting Championship streak for longest title defense with 16 consecutive wins. This streak ended with a defeat at the hands of Chris Weidman, however, in July of 2013. A rematch between the two fighters was held on December 28th, 2013, but this fight went even worse for Silva. In the second round, Weidman checked one of Silva’s leg kicks, which resulted in a horrific break for the Brazilian fighter. Silva’s foot literally wrapped around Weidmen’s leg. Silva would rally, however, and defeat Nick Diaz in UFC 183 in his return – although that win was tainted by charges of drug use.

#8: Moisés Alou
Injury: Dislocated Ankle & Fractured Fibula

The lack of physical contact makes baseball one of the “safer” sports, but the injury suffered by Montreal Expos’ outfielder Moisés Alou was truly horrific. Playing at St. Louis’ Busch Stadium on September 16th, 1993, Alou shot a ball into left field, and subsequently took a wide turn while rounding a base. As he attempted to stop and retreat to the bag, his ankle snapped and looks as though it’s been turned 90 degrees. Even an umpire, seeing exactly what we saw, couldn’t look. Alou had to be carried off the field and missed the rest of the 1993 season.

#7: Sid Vicious

Injury: Snapped Tibia & Fibula
Wrestling is supposed to be scripted and choreographed, but we have a hard time believing this injury to Sid Vicious was planned. On January 14th, 2001, facing pressure from World Championship Wrestling management to expand his repertoire of moves, Vicious attempted an aerial maneuver on Scott Steiner called the big boot from the second turnbuckle. He landed awkwardly on his left leg, however, snapping both his tibia and fibula, with the bones breaking through the skin. Vicious needed two hours of surgery and a 17-inch rod in his leg, and required a cane to walk for a while afterwards. Amazingly, he eventually stepped back into the ring, returning to the WWE in 2012.

#6: Kevin Ware
Injury: Broken Tibia

It’s one thing when a professional athlete suffers a horrible injury. But it’s truly tragic when it happens at the college level to young athletes who are not earning any money. On March 31st, 2013, Louisville Cardinals guard Kevin Ware suffered one of the most gruesome injuriesyou will ever see in an Elite Eight game against the Duke Blue Devils. Ware attempted to block a three-point shot, but when he landed, he snapped his tibia, which resulted in the bone protruding out of his shin. The players on the bench and fans in the first few rows were visibly shaken after seeing the extent of the injury – as was the entire internet when the clip went viral.

#5: Djibril Cissé
Injury: Broken Tibia & Fibula

Some people have the worst luck. And while Djibril Cissé is a football star, we’d still say he has some bad luck, as he broke both of his legs in the span of less than two years. The first incident came on October 30th, 2004 while he was playing for Liverpool, when Cissé’s boot got caught in the turf, snapping the tibia and fibula in his left leg – an injury that was supposedly so serious the athlete easily could’ve lost his leg below the knee. Then, while playing for France in a warm-up game against China on June 7th, 2006, Cissé’s right boot got caught in the turf once again, resulting in another nasty broken leg. Amazingly, Cissé recovered from both injuries and scored more than 50 goals over two seasons from 2009-2011.

#4: Willis McGahee
Injury: Torn ACL, PCL & MCL

Returning to college sports once again, Willis McGahee was one of the most important players on the 2002 Miami Hurricanes team that finished the season ranked #1 in the polls. In the 2003 Fiesta Bowl National Championship Game against Ohio State, the Hurricanes found themselves down 17-14 in the fourth quarter. McGahee caught a screen pass but was immediately hit low by Ohio safety Will Allen. McGahee’s knee bent backwards resulting in ACL, PCL and MCL tears. The end this entry on a positive note, after a long rehabilitation process, McGahee eventually made the NFL and had a successful career.

#3: Joe Theismann
Injury: Comminuted Compound Leg Fracture

Washington Redskins QB Joe Theismann had a successful NFL career that saw him win one Super Bowl. However, he may be best remembered for suffering through what was labeled “The Hit That No One Who Saw It Can Ever Forget” by The Washington Post, and the resulting injury that ended his career on November 18th, 1985. Dropping back to pass in a Monday Night Football game against the rival NY Giants, Theismann was hit by Lawrence Taylor, with Gary Reasons and Harry Carson also piling on. Taylor’s knee hit Theismann with such force that it snapped his tibia and fibula. You know it’s bad when the opposing players are desperately calling for medical assistance. And it was bad: Theismann was forced to retire at the age of 36.

#2: Clint Malarchuk
Injury: Sliced Carotid Artery & Jugular Vein

Considering how sharp hockey players keep their skates, it’s remarkable we don’t see more serious lacerations. Florida Panthers forward Richard Zedník suffered a horrific injury in 2008 when his throat was accidentally cut by a teammate’s skate. But nothing compares to Clint Malarchuk. The goaltender for the Buffalo Sabres, Malarchuk and his team were facing the St. Louis Blues on March 22nd, 1989 when the goalie’s carotid artery was severed by a skate blade in a collision in the crease. Though Malarchuk had already requested a priest, his life was miraculously saved by the team’s athletic trainer – a Vietnam vet and former Army medic – who pinched off the blood vessel until doctors arrived. In total, Malarchuk lost 1.5 liters of blood and required 300 stitches.

Before we unveil our number one pick, here are a few honorable mentions:
- Leslie Smith
Injury: Exploded Cauliflower Ear
- Allan Ray
Injury: Eyelid Forced Behind Eyeball
- Marcus Lattimore
Injury: Dislocated Knee & Torn Ligaments
- Shaun Livingston
Injury: Torn ACL, PCL & Lateral Meniscus, Badly Sprained MCL, Dislocated Patella & Tibio-Fibular Joint

#1: Alex McKinnon
Injury: Broken Neck

It’s been said that rugby is a hooligan’s sport played by gentlemen. And Rugby players arguably put their bodies on the line more than any other athlete. Unfortunately for rugby league player Alex McKinnon, this resulted in a life-changing injury. Playing for the Newcastle Knights in 2014, McKinnon was involved in a dangerous play when he was tackled by Melbourne Storm forward Jordan McLean and his head was driven hard into the ground. The collision fractured two of McKinnon’s vertebrae, paralyzing him on the spot in one of the scariest scenes ever in a sporting event. Remarkably, McKinnon was able to stand up after just 10 months of rehab, and still believes he will one day be able to walk again.

Do you agree with our list? Which sport’s injury do you think was the worst? For more exciting Top 10s published daily, be sure to subscribe to
What music is playing in the background?
Malarchuk has to be #1
How come open-wheel driver Alex Zanardi isn't on this list? His legs were torn off in a violent crash.