Fish tanks, pucks, lions and chainsaws – freak injuries in sport

PA Sport Staff
·6-min read

England bowler Jofra Archer has needed surgery for a cut on his hand after he dropped a fish tank whilst cleaning at home prior to travelling to India for the recent Test and white-ball series.

The paceman was able to manage the injury on the sub-continent but England men’s managing director Ashley Giles revealed on Monday evening that the 25-year-old required an operation to remove a small fragment of glass from his hand, while also receiving an injection on his troublesome elbow.

Here, the PA news agency looks at other sports stars who have suffered unusual injuries.

Zak Crawley

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England batsman Zak Crawley missed the first two matches of England’s Test series against India after slipping on a marble floor and spraining his wrist ahead of the series-opener. Crawley was leaving the dressing room in Chennai on Tuesday when he took a tumble on the uncovered surface and landed hard on his right hand.

Jason Roy

Batted back - Jason Roy suffered an unusual injury last summer
Batted back – Jason Roy suffered an unusual injury in 2018 (Nick Potts/PA)

England batsman Roy missed Surrey’s crucial Vitality Blast game against Glamorgan in August 2018 – and he had only himself to blame. Roy threw a cricket bat in frustration following his dismissal in Surrey’s victory against Hampshire but did not account for the bat bouncing and hitting him in the face, later calling it a “moment of stupidity”.

Scott Baldwin

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Wales hooker Baldwin sat out the Ospreys’ PRO14 defeat against the Cheetahs in September 2017 because of a lion bite. The then 29-year-old was absent from the 44-25 loss after he was injured while attempting to stroke the caged animal at a game lodge in Bloemfontein. He later said he had needed four operations and was told he could have lost his hand.

Quinton De Kock

Quinton De Kock goes walkies after a dismissal against England at the World Cup earlier this summer
Quinton De Kock goes walkies after a dismissal against England at the World Cup (Nigel French/PA)

South Africa were forced to issue a late SOS the night before their third Test against England in January 2016 after wicketkeeper De Kock slipped and twisted his knee while walking his dog. The injury worsened overnight, prompting a late call-up for Dane Vilas. And while De Kock might want to forget the nature of the injury, South Africa will also want to forget the result after losing by seven wickets, which handed England the series.

Lee Burge

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Coventry goalkeeper Burge trained with a bandage on his head after he was struck by a puck while watching ice hockey in 2018. The then 25-year-old reportedly needed hospital treatment after being hit while he watched the Coventry Blaze’s Elite League clash with the Sheffield Steelers.

Glenn McGrath

Glenn McGrath receives treatment after injuring himself at Edgbaston
Glenn McGrath receives treatment after injuring himself at Edgbaston (Rui Vieira/PA)

Australia paceman McGrath turned his ankle ahead of the second Ashes Test in 2005 when he stepped on a stray cricket ball during a warm-up game of touch rugby. He missed the Test which England won in thrilling fashion to level the series at 1-1. England would go on to take the series 2-1, winning again at Trent Bridge – another match McGrath missed through injury.

Wayne Rooney

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Rooney, then captain of England and Manchester United, caused controversy in 2015 when a video emerged of him boxing in his kitchen with former team-mate Phil Bardsley. A blow from Bardsley floored Rooney, who fell backwards on to the floor. After the video was aired, Rooney celebrated a goal against Tottenham by shadow boxing and then pretending to hit the deck. “I was in a house with some friends. Obviously I was caught on the wrong end of a punch, but I wasn’t knocked out like it was reported,” Rooney said.

Svein Grondalen

A moose (not THE moose)
A moose – not THE moose (Peter Cairns/Handout)

Norway defender Grondalen, who played for his country from 1973 to 1984, probably had no concerns about his safety when he put on his running shoes and stepped out for a training run. However, while out jogging he collided with a moose and was forced to withdraw from an international as a result.

David James

Take it steady on the Strictly dancefloor, David!
David James (left) injured his shoulder while out fishing (Jonathan Brady/PA)

Former England goalkeeper James was never afraid of standing out from the crowd, but he brought himself unwanted headlines when he injured his shoulder while out fishing, causing himself pain when he tried to land a monster carp. Some of James’ injuries were not caused by other sports, though, for he once pulled a muscle in his back when reaching for the television remote control.

Jamie Donaldson

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Ryder Cup star Donaldson suffered a severe finger injury following a mishap with a chainsaw in January 2016. The Welshman, who claimed the decisive point as Europe defeated the United States in September 2014, posted a graphic photo on Twitter of what seemed to be a laceration to the little finger on his left hand. Above the image, he wrote: “So folks in my time off decided to have a fight with a chainsaw and lost! Oops!!”

Chris Froome

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Having spent time in intensive care in 2019 after suffering a catalogue of injuries in a horror crash during a recon ride at the Criterium du Dauphine in the summer, Froome had to return to hospital later that year. This time, though, it was because he had cut his thumb on a kitchen knife. The four-time Tour de France winner required surgery to repair the tendon in his left thumb.

Marco Asensio

Marco Asensio is a smooth operator
Marco Asensio is a smooth operator (Nick Potts/PA)

The Real Madrid forward missed a Champions League game due to an infection caused by shaving his legs. Boss Zinedine Zidane told reporters ahead of Real’s 3-0 victory over APOEL Nicosia in September 2017 that Asensio would not feature because of a pimple which prevented him from pulling up a sock.

Carl Frampton

Frampton was forced to pull out of a fight against Emmanuel Dominguez in August after suffering a hand injury in what he described as a “freak accident”. The Belfast boxer, who was due to face Mexican Dominguez in Philadelphia, said a large ornament had fallen on his left hand in a hotel lobby, fracturing his fifth metacarpal.