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Five unusual injuries

Scott Baldwin’s scrape with a lion in South Africa, where the Welsh international hooker was bitten, is the latest in a long line of unusual sporting injuries.

Here AFP Sports looks at five other bizarre instances:

Clarence Blethen — Baseball

Blethen struggled to make an impact in major league baseball as a pitcher and spent most of his career in the minor leagues. Indeed the only time he reached a base in a major league game, playing for the Boston Red Sox, is not remembered because the false teeth he removed when he ran the bases bit him in his backside when he slid into second base — he had forgotten to remove them from his back pocket. He bled so heavily that in his moment of glory he had to be removed from the pitch.

Gus Frerotte — American Football

The Washington Redskins quarterback showed great resilience to fight his way into the first choice spot having been a lowly seventh draft pick at the outset of his career. However, whilst enjoying his best season in 1996 he earned himself a place in the history of silly injuries when he headbutted a wall after running in a touchdown against bitter divisional rivals the New York Giants. He staggered back looking dazed and had to be taken to hospital with a sprained neck. “You know, if you didn’t have a sense of humour about it, I don’t think that you would ever survive it,” said Frerotte after he had retired.

Jason Pierre-Paul — American Football

Coaches look for their stars to perform fireworks on the pitch but the New York Giants Super Bowl winning defensive end Pierre-Paul took it too literally. Celebrating with friends and family on Independence Day on July 4th, 2015, he nearly lost his hand when he persisted in trying to light a firework. “I’m looking at my (right) hand and I’m seeing every ligament,” he told Sports Illustrated. “You only see this stuff in the movies.” Even though he had his right index finger amputated and underwent several skin grafts on his hand he managed to persuade the Giants to keep him on and earlier this year signed a new four year multi-million dollar contract.

Steve Morrow — football

The Northern Irish midfielder was the epitome of an honest professional playing alongside the more celebrated Arsenal players of the 1990s such as Ian Wright and Paul Merson. However he stole the show in the 1993 League Cup final with the winner in the 2-1 victory over Sheffield Wednesday. However, while his team-mates climbed the steps at Wembley to lift the trophy and receive their medals he was on his way to hospital having been stretchered off with a broken arm — captain Tony Adams the culprit having lifted him in the air on the final whistle before dropping him unceremoniously to the ground. “It was just a bizarre incident and a painful one at the time. I could tell there was something badly wrong. Tony, bless him, saw my arm was in a very unnatural position and went to lift it and put it back. The doctor stopped him, thankfully!”

Svein Grondalen — football

Tough-as-teak Norwegian international defender who played 77 times for his country but it is a game he couldn’t play in for which he will be best remembered. Out running in the woods ahead of a World Cup qualifier, Grondalen came off worse when he collided with a moose. He had to withdraw from the match.


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