Two of the top athletes in their respective sports suffered injuries this weekend away from the field of play. Golfer Rory McIlroy ruptured his anterior talofibular ligament, and New York Giants defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul hurt his hand in an accident that involved fireworks on July 4.
McIlroy’s status is unknown for The Open championship next week, and he’s started rehab, following the injury. The full extent of Pierre-Paul’s injury won’t be determined until he meets with doctors, and he was still in the hospital two days after burning his hands. The Giants have pulled their $60 million contract offer to Pierre-Paul after the incident, according to NFL Media's Ian Rapoport.
It’s possible that neither athlete will miss any time in their sports, but they risked doing so over the weekend. Below is a look at five other athletes that suffered major injuries while not playing their respective sports.
The former MLB player wasn’t a star like McIlroy, but he also hurt himself playing another sport. Boone injured his left knee while playing basketball, and the injury forced him to miss the entire 2004 season. The third baseman was acquired by the New York Yankees at the previous season’s trade deadline, and his home run in Game 7 of the 2003 ALCS immediately became one of the most memorable moments in baseball history. But the injury forced the Yankees to get another third baseman, and the team responded by trading for Alex Rodriguez and releasing Boone.
The NASCAR driver has been one of the sport’s top stars for the past decade but he suffered an embarrassing moment towards the end of 2006. He wasn’t able to drive for four weeks because he injured himself in a golf cart accident. The six-time Sprint Cup Series champion broke his left wrist when he was “horsing around” on top of the golf cart during a celebrity golf tournament. The injury did little to slow down Johnson, who won the Sprint Cup Series in each of the four years following the incident.
Jay Williams/Ben Roethlisberger
Both athletes suffered serious injuries in motorcycle accidents, though Williams did not recover as well as Roethlisberger. One year after the Chicago Bulls selected Williams second overall in the 2002 NBA Draft, the point guard broke his leg, among suffering other injuries, in an accident that almost killed him. The Bulls released Williams, who violated the terms of his contract by riding a motorcycle, and he never played in the NBA again. Roethlisberger didn’t miss any time when he broke his jaw and nose in a motorcycle accident three months before the start of the season. He avoided career-threatening injuries, even though he wasn’t wearing a helmet when he got hurt.
Burress’ injury cost him more than just a few games in the NFL. With the New York Giants looking to defend their 2008 Super Bowl championship, the team’s top wide receiver missed the final month of the season after accidentally shooting himself in the leg. Burress would end up serving 20 months in prison after pleading guilty to an illegal weapons charge, and he ended up missing more than two full NFL seasons. He returned in 2011, playing just 20 more games until he retired.
Once one of the most promising young relievers that MLB had seen in a few years, Chamberlain has seen his career altered by a few major injuries. After recovering from Tommy John surgery, Chamberlain suffered a gruesome ankle injury while jumping on a trampoline with his son. The amount of blood that Chamberlain lost was described as “life-threatening,” and it was speculated that the injury could possibly end his MLB career. Chamberlain ended up pitching in 22 games that season, returning to the field more than four months after dislocating his ankle.