Lion bite, puck to the head and cut by a fish tank – strangest sporting injuries

·5-min read

Jonny Bairstow has been ruled out of England’s third Test against South Africa and the T20 World Cup after sustaining a lower limb injury in a freak accident whilst playing golf.

The wicketkeeper-batter said on Instagram he “slipped on the golf course” on Friday morning – it is understood he was walking to a tee box at a venue near Harrogate when the incident happened.

Here, the PA news agency looks at some of the other occasions when athletes suffered unusual injuries.

Ben Foakes

England wicketkeeper Ben Foakes was ruled out of a Test series against New Zealand in 2021 when he tore his hamstring after slipping on a sock while in the dressing room following Surrey’s County Championship match against Middlesex at the Oval.

Lee Burge

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.

Jofra Archer

Jofra Archer suffered an unusual injury
Jofra Archer suffered an unusual injury (Alastair Grant/PA)

Jofra Archer needed surgery for a cut on his hand after he dropped a fish tank whilst cleaning at home prior to travelling to England’s tour of India. The paceman was able to manage the injury on the sub-continent but the 25-year-old required an operation to remove a small fragment of glass from his hand.

Scott Baldwin

Wales hooker Baldwin sat out the Ospreys’ PRO14 defeat against the Cheetahs in 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.

Jamie Donaldson

Ryder Cup star Donaldson suffered a severe finger injury following a mishap with a chainsaw in January 2016. The Welshman 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!!”

Carl Frampton

Frampton was forced to pull out of a fight against Emmanuel Dominguez 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.

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 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.

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.

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 Vitality Blast game against Glamorgan in 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”.

Biniam Girmay

Cyclist Girmay had to pull out of the Giro d’Italia in May after injuring his eye when being struck by the cork from a Prosecco bottle while celebrating his historic stage win on the podium. He had become the first black African to win a stage of a Grand Tour when he beat Mathieu van der Poel in a reduced sprint in Jesi, but the festivities were cut short.