Top 10 Worst Sports Injury Till Now

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Athletes are prone to injuries; it is not a new thing. But unfortunately, there have been many incidents where athletes have gotten into serious incidents that threatened their careers and lives. 

At some point, every athlete suffers from injuries. While some can bounce back, for some, it takes a painful process and rehabilitation to get to the field.

It might sound astounding that some of the athletes’ injuries also become famous. However, it is because of the athlete’s popularity or the grueling nature of the injuries.

Hayward injured during a match
Gordon Hayward, injured during a match (Source:

There have been many gruesome and unfortunate sports injuries in sports history. Therefore, today we are looking at some of the most unfortunate sports injuries.

But before beginning the article, we would like to give a little warning. The article consists of some graphic details and a few bloody photos; hence, it might not suit faint-hearted.

So with this bit of note, let us look at some of the worst sports injuries till now!

Top 10 Worst Sports Injury Till Now

We have compiled this list primarily with the help of  Bleacherreport.

First, before diving into the intricate details of the list, here is a quick preview of the comprehensive list below.

Athlete Name Sport
10. Marcin Wasilewski Soccer
9. Jessica Dube Ice Skating
8. Bryce Florie Baseball
7. Bobby Valentine Baseball
6. Oupa Ngulube Soccer
5. Gordon Hayward Basketball
4. Zach Miller Football
3. Napoleon McCallum Football
2. Kevin Ware Basketball
1. Clint Malarchuk Ice Hockey


10. Marcin Wasilewski

Our number 10 spot of the worst sports injury is Marcin Wasilewski. He is a former Polish soccer player who got into an injury after Axel Witsel in 2009.

In the 24th minute of the game, the incident occurred where Jupiler League was facing the Standard Liege. Wasilewski was 29 years old, and his right back’s lower leg was broken due to Witsel’s recklessness.

Marcin Wasilewski broken right back's lower leg
Marcin Wasilewski broke right back’s lower leg (Source:

After the injury, Wasilewski had to undergo temporary corrective surgery. In addition, surgery was required on multiple open fractures of both the tibia and fibula.

Meanwhile, Witsel was given a red card for offense and suspended for eight games by the Belgian FA after an appeal. Wasilewski had to undergo a long rehabilitation before he was able to return to the game. 

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9. Jessica Dube

What comes to your mind when you hear ice skating? Of course, most of us think about athletes gliding across an ice surface with elegance and giving an incredible performance.

But the accident faced by former Canadian figure skater Jessica Dube in 2007 reminded everyone how dangerous the sport could be.

In 2007, at the Four Continents Championships held in Colorado Springs, Dube’s partner Bryce Davison came too close during the free skate segment. The incident occurred on their third rotation side-by-side camel spin.

Jessica Dube suffered injury
Jessica Dube suffered an injury (Source:

Davison had come too close during the spin, and his skating blade struck Dube in the face. Immediately she fell to the ice, and the audience gasped when they saw Dube clutching her face as blood pooled on the ice.

Medical staff immediately took her off the ice and rushed her to the hospital. She had to undergo surgery and received stitches.

Luckily her eyes were not affected, and nothing was broken. But both Dube and her partner had to undergo PTSD after the incident.

8. Bryce Florie

Bryce Florie is a former MLB pitcher and is number 8 on our list for a worst sports injury. In his career in MLB that spanned for eight seasons, Florie is remembered vividly for the facial injury he suffered in 2000.

In 2000, Florie pitched for the Boston Red Sox against Ryan Thompson of New York Yankees. He was hit on the face by a line drive off the bat of Thompson.

The next thing Florie knew was that he was lying on the ground and bleeding. The impact fractured his cheekbone and orbital socket. Similarly, he also suffered damage to his eye retina. 

Bryce Florie after the hit
Bryce Florie after the hit (Source:

After the injury, Florie has to undergo surgery to relieve the pressure caused by the injury and save his eye. In 2001, he returned to MLB but was released by the team.

Florie never played in major leagues again. One can say that the injury cost him his MLB career. The fractured bones had healed, but the injury’s impact on his vision continues to date.

7. Bobby Valentine

On our number 7 of the worst sports injury is former professional baseball player Bobby Valentine. He was one of the top baseball prospects in the late 1960s. The Los Angeles Dodgers drafted him as the fifth overall in the 1968 MLB draft.

The incident occurred in 1973 when Valentine was 23 years old. His leg drove into the vinyl between two support poles in an outfield chain-link as he attempted to steal a home run.

Valentine was down on the ground, and his shin was bent in the middle. As a result, both his lower right leg’s bones were fractured. After the injury, he spent nearly six months recovering and was put in two different casts.

Bobby Valentine breaks his leg
Bobby Valentine breaks his leg (Source:

However, Valentine’s bone healed poorly. The doctors discovered the bones had knit poorly. Despite the injury not healing properly, he returned to play the following season.

As one can imagine, the poor healing hampered Valentine’s career. Although he did his best and did not quit the sport, who knows what achievements he could have achieved had he not suffered the injury!

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6. Oupa Buti Ngulube

The next injury that we will mention on our list is that of a soccer player Oupa Buti Ngulube. One of the rising talents of soccer, Ngulube had one of the worst injuries possible that ended his career.

The incident occurred in 2009, during the promotion playoff match. Felix Muamba brutally tackled Ngulube. Muamba’s assault broke his leg, and the terrible incident was captured on screen.

You can see the impact of Muamba’s tackle as Ngulube’s right leg totally bent the opposite way. The injury cut his career short. He could not return to the field after the gruesome attack.


Oupa Ngulube after the tackle
Oupa Ngulube after the tackle (Source:

For Ngulube, it was his childhood dream to play soccer. However, his career was cut short after the incident without even playing in the top-tier league.

The most heart-wrenching thing is he had gone to work as a waste collecter after his career ended. So his injury is not only one of the worst but the most unfortunate one in sports history.

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5. Gordon Hayward

Our number 6 worst sports injury goes to NBA player Gordon Hayward. Utah Jazz drafted him as the ninth overall pick of the 2010 NBA draft. Unfortunately, we are talking about the incident right after he signed with Boston Celtics.

Hayward made his first appearance for the Celtics in 2017. But less than six minutes into the game, he suffered a season-ending injury. He has suffered a fractured tibia and dislocated his left leg ankle.

Gordon Hayward dislocated his left leg ankle
Gordon Hayward dislocated his left leg ankle (Source:

As Hayward went for an alley-oop, he had awkwardly landed on the hardwood, which caused his leg to collapse under his weight. His leg bent unnaturally, and spectators watched the incident horrified as he twisted in pain.

Soon after the incident, Hayward was transferred to Boston, where he had to undergo surgery. Unfortunately, he also had to undergo second surgery after a couple of months.

4. Zach Miller

Football is one of those sports where players get into injuries. Zach Miller is a former football tight end who suffered from one of the worst sports injuries.

During his career, Miller was plagued with various injuries. However, in 2017, he suffered the worst injury that ended his career forever.

Miller played for the Chicago Bears in a game against New Orleans Saints. While attempting to catch a touchdown pass, he landed on his left knee and dislocated it.

Zach Miller
Zach Miller (Source:

Further, after an examination, it came to light that he had not only dislocated his knee but also tore his popliteal artery. As a result, there was even the possibility of amputation. Fortunately, Miller’s vascular surgery was successful.

After the surgery, he was in the hospital for weeks. Similarly, he also missed all his 2018 season. Then the following year, in April, Miller retired from the sport.

3. Napoleon McCallum

Napoleon McCallum is a former football player who played six seasons in NFL. He was part of the U.S. Naval Academy and played professional football for Los Angeles Raiders.

The incident occurred in a 1994 Monday Night Football contest. The Raiders were playing an opening game of the season against the San Francisco 49ers. Then Ken Norton Jr. of 49ers twisted him to the ground.

McCallum was stuck in the ground, forcing his knee, causing gruesome dislocation and hyperextension of his knee. Norton was pinned underneath for a couple of minutes under him due to the injury.

Napoleon McCallum
Napoleon McCallum (Source:

The injury was so severe that McCallum suffered a ruptured artery in his left knee, tore three ligaments, tore the calf and hamstring from the bone, and suffered nerve damage in the knee.

The surgeon compared his injury with that of a car accident. Moreover, the injury could have led to his leg amputation, but luckily the surgery went well. Unfortunately, McCallum’s career ended after the injury.

2. Kevin Ware

We have Kevin Ware’s injury on our number 2 of the worst sports injury. He is an American professional basketball player who currently plays in the Iraqi Basketball League franchise Al Naft Baghdad.

Ware played basketball for the University of Louisville. Then in 2013, in the first half of an Elite 8 game, he suffered an injury that received widespread media attention.

After attempting to block a shot, Ware landed awkwardly on his right leg. It caused an open fracture that protruded several inches out of the shin. Needless to say, the spectators were traumatized by what they saw.

Kevin Ware with his teammates after the injury
Kevin Ware with his teammates after the injury (Source:

It was one of the most horrific and gruesome injuries in sports history. Ware was taken to the hospital, where the surgeon had to perform a two-hour operation to insert a rod in his tibia.

Waren was lucky to be able to make a recovery. Moreover, he returned to the game after just eight months of the injury.

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1. Clint Malarchuk

We have made our way to the number 1 worst sports injury. While many players on our list had their careers ended due to injuries, this player nearly lost his life due to injury. Clint Malarchuk had his neck sliced by a skate.

You read it correctly; the former Canadian ice hockey goaltender had his neck sliced. In the 1989 NHL game, Steve Tuttle and Uwe Krupp crashed into the goal crease. Tuttle skate blade hit the right front side of Malarchuk’s neck.

As a result, Malarchuk’s carotid artery was severed while his jugular vein was partially cut. The scene was gruesome, as blood gushed out of Malarchuk’s neck; many spectators were sickened by the sight of a blood pool on the ice.

Clint Malarchuk clutching his throat after his neck was sliced
Clint Malarchuk clutching his throat after his neck was sliced (Source:

Although he was able to leave the ice on his own feet with the help of the team’s athletic trainer, he lost an excessive amount of blood.

The incident shook everybody. Eleven fans fainted; two suffered a heart attack while three players vomited on ice. Luckily even after losing 1.5 liters of blood, Malarchuk survived the incident.

It took 300 stitches to close the six-inch wound; Malarchuk was back on the ice in ten days.


Every once in a while, athletes suffer from injuries. Unfortunately, however, some unfortunate ones sometimes suffer from gruesome and horrible injuries that end their careers.

There is no telling when and how one suffers from such unfortunate events. Which injury do you think is the worst on the list?

Boby Rai
Boby Rai

Boby Rai

Boby Rai is a dedicated writer who specializes in capturing the essence of sporting excellence through his unique lens. As the creative mind behind numerous sports-centric projects, he brings a fresh perspective to the world of athletics, blending insightful commentary with captivating narratives.


Sports Journalism Feature Writing


  • Boby's writing transcends conventional boundaries, offering readers a glimpse into the lesser-known stories.
  • His feature articles provide a deep dive into the human side of sports, exploring the emotions, challenges, and aspirations.


Armed with a passion for sports and a gift for storytelling, Boby has honed his craft through years of immersive experiences in the field. With a keen eye for detail and an unwavering commitment to authenticity, he continues to inspire and inform readers through his thought-provoking work.

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