5 Worst Sports Injuries of the 21st Century (So Far)

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Sports bring us entertainment, excitement and drama. Unfortunately, they also occasionally bring injury. And while the majority of injuries sustained by athletes are treatable, and even somewhat to be expected, some stand out as being especially difficult to watch.

Case in point: recently, Atlanta Braves pitcher Tim Hudson suffered a fractured ankle on a routine play covering first base when NY Met Eric Young, Jr. accidentally stepped directly on him while lunging for the bag. It was a season ending injury for Hudson, and one that was considerably hard to watch, bringing back memories of some of the worst injuries in recent sports history.

Warning! – Advertencia! – Achtung! These videos are GRAPHIC.

5 Willis McGahee – Running Back, Miami Hurricanes

Warning: Graphic!

Back in January of 2003, Willis McGahee found himself playing in the National Championship after leading his Miami Hurricanes to an undefeated season and the number 1 ranking in the country. Things didn’t quite go as planned though, as the Hurricanes fell to Ohio State in double overtime, and McGahee suffered one of the worst injuries you will ever see. Taking a screen pass in the fourth quarter, he was met by OSU’s Will Allen, who hit McGahee low, tearing pretty much everything in his leg (ACL, MCL, PCL).

4 Bryce Florie – Pitcher, Boston Red Sox

Warning: Graphic!

On September 8, 2000, the Red Sox were facing off with the rival NY Yankees, but this game wouldn’t have any big name brawls or late game heroics. This day would be remembered for two no-name players, after pitcher Bryce Florie was hit in the face with a comebacker off the bat of Yankee outfielder Ryan Thompson, fracturing his eye socket and breaking his cheekbone. And considering the average line drive moves at roughly 120 mph, it’s no wonder Florie looked like he was hit in his mug with a brick.

3 Shaun Livingston – Point Guard, Los Angeles Clippers


Warning: Graphic!

He’s just a role player in the league now, but Shaun Livingston was once a truly promising prospect who made the leap straight from high school to the NBA in 2004. Three years into his career though, in a February game against the Charlotte Bobcats, Livingston landed awkwardly after a layup and completely blew out his left knee. Most who saw the gruesome injury assumed he’d never play again, especially once doctors confirmed that he tore his ACL, PCL and lateral meniscus, sprained his MCL, and dislocated his patella and tibia joint. Essentially, the guy’s knee exploded.

2 Richard Zednik – Right Wing, Florida Panthers

Warning: Graphic!

In a 2008 game against the Buffalo Sabres, Panthers winger Richard Zednik suffered an injury that can only be called an absolute freak occurrence. When his teammate Olli Jokinen was upended on a check, Zednik was in the worst place at the worst time, getting hit directly in the throat by the razor sharp blade of Jokinen’s skate. Zednik’s external carotid artery was cut, and he bled profusely as he was rushed off the ice and immediately taken to a nearby hospital for surgery. Thankfully, Zednik survived the horrific cut, and even returned to play for the Panthers the following season.

1 Kevin Ware – Guard, Louisville Cardinals

Warning: Graphic!

It may be because it was the most recent, but it’s more likely that this injury lands in the number 1 spot because it was absolutely horrendous to watch. In the 2013 Elite 8 game between the Duke Blue Devils and Louisville Cardinals, reserve Cardinals guard Kevin Ware suffered one of the worst and most inexplicable injuries you will ever see. Landing awkwardly after simply attempting to block a three-point shot, Ware suffered a massive compound fracture in his right leg, which left the bone literally sticking out through his skin. And as he lay on his back on the sideline, all he said was “I’m fine, go win the game.” That man is a trooper.

TK Kelly is a comic and writer who has performed at clubs across the country like the Comedy Store, the Improv, Gotham, and Standup NY. He has also written for Tosh.0, Comedy Central Studios, Funny or Die, Recycled Babies Sketch Comedy, and Second City. His standup comedy has been described as “a thing that happens sometimes,” and according to one of his grandmothers, he is a generally delightful young man. If he were forced at gunpoint to describe himself in one word, that would be a really weird hostage situation.

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