IT’S sport’s silent killer.
It has racked up a hefty injury toll across the world and in a wide range of sports, reducing world-class sportsmen to hobbling, blubbering wrecks.
And the worst part is, there’s no escaping it.
As is now painfully obvious, we’re talking about the dressing room. Once an oasis of calm and privacy, the sporting dressing room has, over the past few decades, turned into a house of pain for countless professional athletes.
Here, we look back at some of the most bizarre and embarrassing injuries suffered by sports stars in the privacy of the sheds.
Ben Stokes, England cricket team
Let’s be honest, our story was inspired by news that gun England all-rounder Ben Stokes had been ruled out of the upcoming ICC World Twenty20 after breaking his hand. How did he break it? Punching a locker in frustration after getting out in a match against West Indies — that’s how.
Chris Hanson, Jacksonville Jaguars, NFL
Former NFL punter Chris Hanson probably takes the cake in terms of bizarre locker room injuries. He split his leg open after taking part in a supposed team-building activity run by Jackson Jaguars coach Jack Del Rio that involved wood-chopping. Needless to say, he missed the wood.
Des Hasler, Manly Sea Eagles coach, NRL
There were no serious injuries but quite possibly some injured pride after a manic rant by current Bulldogs coach Des Hasler resulted in a dressing room door being pulled clean off its hinges. The star of the show was undoubtedly Manly centre Jamie Lyon, who managed to sit straight faced as the door came close to landing on his head.
Amar’e Stoudemire, New York Knicks, NBA
If you were a purveyor of lame jokes, which we certainly are not, you’d say that the best way to stop champion NBA side Miami Heat is to use a fire extinguisher. Well, it seems New York Knicks star Amare Stoudemire took this poor attempt at humour quite literally. After notching up a loss against LeBron and co., Stoudemire punched a glass case protecting a fire extinguisher at the entrance to the dressing room, lacerating his left hand.
David Beckham, Manchester United, Barclays Premier League
Beckham’s famous face was momentarily ruined when Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson lashed out in anger after the team crashed out of the 2002-03 FA Cup against Arsenal. Sir Alex kicked a discarded football boot, which flew across the locker room and into Beckham’s head, causing a nasty gash that required stitches.