World of Sport

Top 10 sporting ailments

World of Sport

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Manchester City striker Mario Balotelli was forced out of a Europa League game in Kiev when his face swelled up following an allergic reaction to the pitch.

Balotelli, 20, eventually came off in the 57th minute after being over a minute late coming out for the second half with City losing 2-0 to Dynamo Kiev in the last-16 first leg game. He appeared in some distress and was constantly rubbing his face before being replaced by Carlos Tevez.

Manager Roberto Mancini said: "Mario had an allergy, I don't know what, his face was swollen, I don't know why. He wanted to play in the second half but he had this problem 10 seconds before coming out.

"I came out a minute before the players and I didn't see Mario. He then said he could play but his face was swollen."

Here are some more incredible sporting ailments and injuries:

1. Jade Johnson can't stand sand

Incredibly, Olympic long jumper Johnson is allergic to sand. An even worse problem than Balotelli's, this, considering she spends hours every day jumping into the stuff. Johnson said: "I break out in rashes all over the backs and sides of my legs - massive red blotchy stuff." She wears tights to jump to combat the allergy.

2. Sam Torrance sleepwalks out of Ryder Cup

Scottish golfer Torrance has a long history of sleepwalking, but at the 1993 Ryder Cup his problem became a nightmare. Torrance leapt out of bed and tackled a Yucca plant, believing it to be an intruder, and broke his toe in the process. The incident caused him to miss the singles matches on the final day at The Belfry.

"For months afterwards I was unmercifully ribbed by my colleagues," he said. "Every time I hit into the trees, someone would say, 'Careful Sammy, it's a jungle out there!'"

3. Alex Stepney gets jaw-ache

Manchester United goalkeeper Alex Stepney was not one to suffer fools. With his team's defence in disarray during a match against Birmingham in 1975 Stepney shouted so aggressively he dislocated his jaw.

4. Dave Beasant crocked by condiment

Beasant will always be remembered for his penalty save for Wimbledon against Liverpool in the 1988 FA Cup final, but the goalkeeper could do nothing to stop a falling bottle of salad cream in 1993. The offending condiment smashed on his ankle and damaged ligaments, leaving Beasant ruled out for eight weeks.

5. John Smoltz straightened out

Baseball players pride themselves on immaculate uniforms, so it was no surprise that Atlanta Braves' pitcher Smoltz wanted to iron his jersey. The problem was he decided to do it while he was wearing it, leading to a nasty scalding.

6. Lee Trevino struck by lightning

The inimitable American golfer was struck by lightning by the 13th green during the Western Open at Butler National Club near Chicago. Trevino was rushed to hospital along with playing partner Jerry Heard, but emerged unscathed. His advice to golfers threatened by electric storms in future - hold up a one-iron to the sky. ''Even God can't hit a one-iron," he said.

7. Colin Smart follows the scent

England's rugby squad were in buoyant mood following their 1982 Five Nations victory against France in Paris. Leading the revelry was forward Maurice Colclough, who pretended to drink a bottle of aftershave in front of his team-mates. Colclough had cleverly substituted the aftershave for water, but Smart thought he had just seen the bravest act of his rugby career. The prop proceeded to drink a real bottle of aftershave and was rushed to hospital to have his stomach pumped.

8. Fred Titmus propelled to success

England vice-captain Titmus was enjoying a leisurely swim during the 1967/68 tour of the West Indies when he got his foot caught in the propeller of a boat, breaking four toes in the process. Despite fears his career might be over, Titmus returned to take 111 wickets for Middlesex and lead their batting averages the following season.

9. Kim Clijsters dogged by injury

The Belgian tennis player, and former world number one, was playing football with her boyfriend and her father when she tripped over her dog and injured her tailbone in 2006.

"I stumbled over Diesel and fell badly. Very stupid. Fortunately it was nothing serious but it was bad enough to have to take two days of rest," she said.

10. David Batty tamed by toddler

Former England midfielder Batty was set to comeback from an Achilles injury when his young daughter ran him over on a tricycle - putting him back on the treatment table.

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