In this current day and age, professional athletes are looked at like super heroes. They are worshipped on TV like deities walking among mortals, and they receive huge endorsement deals from the biggest companies around. What does that say about the rest of us? Do we feel that we are so inadequate in our everyday lives that we have to project all our goals and aspirations on these sports stars? It doesn’t matter what particular sport it is: soccer, American football, tennis or basketball, they all have their designated heroes. But the truth is these super athletes, even with their impressive physiques and abilities, are human beings just like all of us. They breathe the same air, bleed the same blood and get injured and hurt like all of us can. In the following article, we take a look at 12 athletes who have proved to be more injury prone than their peers. They are not exactly akin to Mr. Glass from the movie Unbreakable, but they have sustained several serious injuries in their professional careers.
12. Derrick Rose
The 26-yr-old Derrick Rose is one of the most skilled players in the NBA, but constant injuries are threatening to send his career to an early grave. He plays the position of offensive guard and was a #1 draft pick in 2008. He was voted MVP in the 2010-11 season in the NBA, and everyone thought that he had officially arrived. But then the injuries started. He has had problems with several different parts of his body: sprained wrists, lower back issues, turf toe, groin, ankle and neck injuries and the list goes on and on. The one thing he has going on in his career is that he’s still relatively young, so hopefully, he will be able to get his career back on track.
11. Jake Locker
Jake Locker is the 26-yr-old quarterback of the NFL team known as The Tennessee Titans. He was selected by the Titans in the 2011 NFL draft. But ever since he joined the professional league, he has developed a reputation of being a brittle, easily breakable player. In the 2012 and 2013 seasons combined, he played only 18 out of a total of 32 games. He sustained injuries to his foot, hip and shoulder and some of these injuries have even required serious surgeries.
10. Matt Kemp
Matt Kemp is one of the most popular studs and skilled players in Major League Baseball. He plays the outfielder position and has been included in two all-star teams and won two Gold Glove awards (in 2000 and 2011). He currently plays for the San Diego Padres after a long run with the Los Angeles Dodgers (since 2003). Even though he has experienced tons of success in his career, he also suffered some very serious injuries. Some of those problems have included: shoulder separations, numerous hamstring issues and serious knee contusions. Most recently, between 2013 & 2014, he had to undergo two serious ankle surgeries (on both his right and left ankles) that have pretty much relegated him to the sidelines.
9. Greg Oden
Greg Oden is a 27-yr-old NBA basketball player who hails from Buffalo, New York. When you look at his impressive frame, it’s immediately perceptible that he was put on this earth to play basketball. He is 7ft tall, weighs 273lb and he plays the physically demanding center position on the court. But even with his impressive physique and skills, injuries have really destroyed his career to date. Before he entered the NBA in 2007, he had to undergo microfracture surgery for his right knee and he missed the entire season. In 2009, he chipped his left patella and missed three weeks. Then in the 2009-10, he badly fractured his left patella again. In November of 2010, he had another serious microfracture surgery on that left knee. In 2013, he was signed to the Miami Heat, and this was after more than three years of not playing any role in a NBA game.
8. Theo Walcott
The 25-yr-old British soccer player Theo Walcott is a lethal and talented forward player who plays for the Arsenal team in the English Professional League. He was signed to Arsenal in 2006 for 5 million pounds, and he also played for the English National Team. Even though he has had several shining moments in his career and scored lots of goals, injuries have been a constant presence in his career. He has had them all: hip/thigh problems, shoulder separations, hamstring issues, groin/pelvis and ankle/foot injuries, a bruised lung and the list goes on and on. Wow, he is definitely keeping his medical team busy.
7. Reggie Bush
The 29-yr-old Reggie Bush is one of the most recognizable faces in the NFL. He is an extremely formidable running back, and he was drafted by the New Orleans Saints in the 2006 NFL Draft. He won the Super Bowl title with the New Orleans Saints in 2010, and he’s also known for dating Kim Kardashian for a while and doing a sexy shoot with her in GQ magazine. He currently plays for the Detroit Lions, but he has had several issues with regards to staying healthy in his career. He has suffered numerous injuries including: a season ending MCL Knee injury in 2008, calf and knee injuries in 2009, and in 2010, he fractured his right fibula which made him miss 8 games. A lot of his injuries seem to be recurring so he really keeps his coaches nervous about what mishap will happen next.
6. Sergio Aguero
For the last five years, Manchester City has been one of the elite teams in the English Professional Soccer League. They are the current league champions and one of the reasons for their supremacy is the prolific goal-scoring Argentinian striker, Sergio Aguero. His skills with the ball are nothing short of amazing, but he also has the knack for sustaining several injuries. Some of these fitness problems include: groin issues, hamstring and knee injuries, calf problems, deep muscle tears and knee ligament injuries. When he’s healthy, he is almost unstoppable, but the issue is making sure that all his body parts are operating at top levels.
5. Aaron Ramsey
In the last several years, the Arsenal soccer team has been constantly harangued for having talented players who get injured too easily. One of those young talents is the Welshman, Aaron Ramsey. He signed to Arsenal in 2008, but in February of 2010, he suffered a tackle that almost ruined his career. His team was playing against Stoke, and Ramsey was involved in a brutal tackle with another player named Ryan Shawcross. The tackle broke his leg and it took him a full year to recover. Even though he has still been suffering some random injuries, there’s still a chance for him to fulfill his lofty potential.
4. Robert Griffin III
He might be only 24-yrs-old but Robert Griffin III is already one of the most talked about players in the NFL. He is the quarterback for the Washington Redskins, one the most recognizable franchises in American Sports. He was drafted in 2012 after winning the prestigious Heisman Trophy in college. However since joining the league, his short career has been plagued by injuries. In 2012, he suffered a huge shot to his head that had him leaving the game with a concussion. He also suffered a sprained ACL in his knee later that year and tore the ACL in his right leg which required surgery. Also in the recent 2014 season, he started things off the wrong way by dislocating his ankle. He still has the potential to be great but he needs to get stronger.
3. Michael Vick
The 34-yr-old NFL player Michael Vick has certainly been through a lot since being drafted in 2001. He plays the quarterback position, and he has a high-action style where he scrambles a lot, and makes himself an open target for the defensive players of opposing teams. This makes him exciting to watch but it also increases his chances for getting hurt. Some of the serious injuries he has suffered in his career include: grave hamstring issues, broken ribs and serious head concussions. He’s an extremely resilient player though and always finds a way to come back. Even after serving 21 months in prison in 2007 for taking part in a dog-fighting ring, he still found a way to return to the game he loves so much.
2. Rafael Nadal
The 28-yr-old Spanish tennis player Rafael Nadal, affectionately known as Rafa is one of the most gifted tennis players in the world. He is currently ranked #3 in the world and he is often labeled as The King of Clay because of his superiority on clay courts. He has won 14 Grand Slam titles and when you compare him to his peers, there is probably no one who plays harder. That’s probably why he gets hurt so often. Over the length of his career, he has suffered numerous foot injuries and had serious issues with both knees. He has even been sidelined by wrist problems. He will certainly go down as one of the best tennis players of all time, but it will be interesting to see how long his body allows him to play at such an intense level.
1. Amar’e Stoudemire
The 32-yr-old NBA player Amar’e Stoudemire needs no introduction when he enters a room. He is 6’10”, weighs 245lb and he has been playing in the NBA since 2002. He was drafted by the Phoenix Suns and played there for 8 years before being signed by the New York Knicks in 2010. Even though he won rookie of the year in 2003, and has played in several All-Star Games, his career has been plagued by a lot of chronic injuries. Some of these problems include recurring issues with his knees (requiring serious microfracture surgery), sprained toes and ankles, and even a torn iris. Who knew playing basketball could be so detrimental to your health?