Posted: Friday September 16, 2005 9:31AM; Updated: Friday September 16, 2005 11:10AM
6. Jason Kendall's shattered ankle, 1999: Kendall, then the Pirates' catcher, was trying to beat out a bunt when his right foot landed awkwardly on the first-base bag. All four ligaments in the ankle snapped, leaving his foot dangling hideously from his leg. The sight was so gruesome that a Pirates trainer draped Kendall's leg with a towel as the player went into shock. Kendall made a terrific return the next season, however, batting .320 with 22 steals and making his second All-Star team.
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7. Mark Howe crashing into the net, 1980: Playing for the Whalers against the Islanders, the defenseman lost his balance and slid feet-first into the Hartford net. The force of his skates hitting the back netting tipped up the goalposts and the sharply pointed metal centerpiece that was then used to hold together the goal frame. That point ripped through his hockey pants and impaled several inches into his right buttock, scraping the rectum and narrowly missing his testicles, sphincter, and spine. Remarkably, Howe returned to the ice six weeks later and played on for more than a decade. His injury also helped convince the NHL to use nets that would dislodge more easily and safely if struck with such force.
8. Bryce Florie getting hit in the eye, 2000: Pitching in relief for the Red Sox in Fenway Park, Florie was struck square in the right eye by a line drive hit by the Yankees' Ryan Thompson. The ball fractured several bones in Florie's face and left him with lingering vision problems. Florie did return to pitch seven games for the Red Sox in 2001 but has generally struggled, sitting out the entire 2003 season with blurred vision and headaches. He appeared close to a promotion early last season after pitching well for the Marlins' Class AAA team before suffering a season-ending elbow injury. Florie continues to struggle with that injury.
9. Willis McGahee's blown-out knee, 2003: Late in the fourth quarter of the national championship game at the Fiesta Bowl, then University of Miami back McGahee's left knee wrenched at an angle not intended by nature during a tackle. McGahee tore both the anterior cruciate and medial collateral ligaments in the knee while his Hurricanes were upset in overtime by Ohio State. Despite the injury, McGahee still entered the NFL Draft where, in a surprise move, he was selected by the Bills late in the first round. He has since taken over Buffalo's starting tailback position.
10. Rudy Tomjanovich's shattered face, 1977: In what has become known as The Punch, the Rockets forward was hustling toward an on-court fracas between teammate Kevin Kunnert and Lakers forward Kermit Washington to break it up. Sensing someone approaching from behind, Washington wheeled and nailed Tomjanovich flush in the face with a straight right hand. Tomjanovich nearly died from the blow and later needed five surgeries to repair the damage. Washington, meanwhile, was suspended for a then record 60 days. The two players have since reconciled and Washington served as an assistant coach in the NBDL this past season.