Everybody knows and accepts that, when we watch professional sport, we may see an injury or two to the athletes taking part. What we don’t always expect to see are injuries so gruesome, they could have been plucked straight from a horror movie…

Injuries happen in sports. If you play a sport yourself, you’ll already know that! Thankfully, for the most part, sports injuries tend to be pretty minor in the grand scheme of things. That said, some can leave more than just a lasting impression on unsuspecting viewers.

The unpredictable nature of sports means that a serious injury could happen at any moment and for any number of reasons. Sometimes those injuries can even result in the end of someone’s sporting career.

Here, we’ve put together a list of six gruesome sporting injuries that we really wish we could forget.  Of course, reader discretion is advised – these injuries are certainly not for the faint hearted…

6 Sporting Injuries We All Wish We Could Forget

Mike Tyson Bites Off Evander Holyfield’s Ear

Mike Tyson was, undeniably, one of the greatest boxers of all time. He was nothing short of an animal in the ring. But that somewhat unhinged nature resulted in one of the most infamous incidents in sporting history.

Tyson and Evander Holyfield faced off against one another in a 1997 rematch of their WBA Heavyweight championship fight, where no one could have possibly predicted what was to unfold.

After knocking seven bells out of one another for the first two rounds, the third ended with a clinch. Nothing out of the ordinary. Until, that is, Tyson emerged with a sizable chunk of Holyfield’s ear in his mouth.

An investigation quickly followed and, despite the pretty damning evidence, the fight continued. It was then stopped after Tyson bit Holyfield’s other ear (not causing as much damage this time).

Clint Malarchuk Takes an Ice Hockey Boot to the Neck

As you might expect, ice hockey is a very dangerous sport – just look at how much padding and protective gear players are forced to wear! But, no amount of protective gear could have prevented this particular freak injury.

In 1989, Canadian goaltender Clint Malarcuck was caught by a stray ice skate. The skate sliced across his neck, cutting his carotid artery and partially slicing his jugular vein.

Malarchuk proceeded to put everyone off their food when he suffered immediate and massive blood loss. He lost 1.5 litres worth of blood but, amazingly, he survived the incident. Even more amazingly, he even went back to playing professional ice hockey for a few more years.

Akil Mitchell Suffers a Dislodged Eyeball

You don’t often see eye injuries in sports but, when we do, they’re usually pretty gruesome. That was no exception for Akil Mitchells, who caught a stray finger to the face while playing for the New Zealand Breakers.

Mitchell’s eyeball was dislodged from its socket which, as horrific as that sounds, isn’t even the worst part about this particular incident. Mitchell claims that he could still see out his eye and that his vision never went blurry.

“With the palm of my hand I felt my eyeball on the side of my face,” Mitchell told New Zealand’s Radio Sport. “I could still see out of the eye.

“I remember thinking oh man… this is kinda bad, but I actually felt it kind of out of place and that’s when I kind of freaked out a little bit.”

Kevin Ware’s Open Leg Fracture

No one ever wants to see a leg break or fracture, as they can be ghastly enough in themselves. But open leg fractures? They’re in a league all by themselves.

In 2013, an Elite 8 basketball game between Louiseville Cardinals and the Duke Blue Devils was brought to a sudden stop when Pont Guard Kevin Ware fell awkwardly while trying to block a pass.

To cut a long story short, Ware’s tibia was snapped, and popped out of his leg. It’s as bad an injury as you’re likely to see on a basketball court.

Ware clearly wasn’t as phased as you might think, though. Reports have claimed that his first response was to tell his teammates that he was fine and that they need to go and win the game.

Jonna Jedrzejczyk Becomes Unrecognisable After Hematoma

An injury in a UFC fight? Who could have seen that coming? In fairness, this particular injury was incredibly difficult to watch, even for avid UFC fans.

Joanna Jedrzejczyk tasted defeat at the hands of Weili Zhang in 2020, but not before she was left with a horrific hematoma on her face. If you aren’t already in the know, a hematoma is a collection of blood outside of a blood vessel. By the end of the fight, the Polish fighter was barely recognisable as her face and head continued to swell, with those images quickly spreading across social media.

Thankfully, Jedrzejczyk was left with no permanent damage following the injury.

Hadyn Peacock’s Penis is Partially Torn Off

Read it and wince. Yes, Hadyn Peacock, an Australian rugby league player, suffered an injury that is likely to make every man instinctively cross their legs in sympathy.

Yes. Peacock’s penis was partially torn off during a tackle.

His description of the incident was pretty straightforward. “He (the opposition player) made a tackle by reaching out and grabbing my d***, he got a hold of my d*** with one hand and pulled me down.”

Enough said of that.

Have There Been Any Other Sporting Injuries You Want to Forget?

So, there we have it! Such is the nature of sports, these injuries are unlikely to be the last ones which leave us all feeling a little queasy. Let’s just hope you aren’t unlucky enough to be watching at the time!

Have there been any other sporting injuries that you wish you hadn’t seen? If so, why not leave a comment below with your own suggestions?