Baldwin joins Beckham, McIlroy & Rooney in list of freak injuries

Baldwin has joined a list of star names to have suffered bizarre injuries -- although he has now raised the bar a little. David Davies/PA Images via Getty Images

This article was originally published on July 1, 2010 and has been updated.

Scott Baldwin has set the bar high in terms of bizarre sporting injuries, but he is by no means alone in his admittedly novel approach to skipping matches.

Wales and Ospreys hooker, Baldwin, apologised Saturday to his club's fans after he missed their defeat to the Cheetahs Friday having been bitten by a lion.

ESPN rounds up 10 other freak sporting injuries that might make him feel a little better as he makes the long journey back to Wales, and ultimately fitness.

Rory McIlroy

The 2014 Open champion was denied a chance to defend his crown at St Andrews a year later when he was forced to withdraw from his home major in bizarre circumstances. The four-time major winner posted a picture of his left ankle in a protective boot having injured himself playing soccer with friends in Northern Ireland. Another notable mention from the world of golf must go to Ryder Cup player Jamie Donaldson, who was forced to take time out of the sport in 2016 when he injured his hand following a mishap with a chainsaw. "So folks in my time off decided to have a fight with a chainsaw and lost! Oops!!" he said.

Chris Lewis

England cricketer Lewis found the intense heat so oppressive in the West Indies in 1994 that he decided to shave his head. Fair enough, you might think -- but calamity was just around the corner. He went out for a net session and forgot to cover his now-hairless dome, resulting in a bout of sunstroke that forced him out of the first match of the tour. "Chris Lewis baldly went where no other cricketer has gone before," wrote an unsympathetic Sun, "and the prat without a hat spent two days in bed with sunstroke."

Joba Chamberlain

Then New York Yankees relief pitcher Chamberlain could probably sympathise with McIlroy following his own unfortunate ankle injury back in 2012. You might think playing with your son on a trampoline represented nothing more than a chance for father-offspring bonding but you would be wrong -- danger lurks atop of those springs. Chamberlain fell awkwardly and suffered an open dislocation of his right ankle. "I know he did it on the trampoline, that he was bouncing," Yankees manager Joe Girardi said at the time.

David Beckham

Feb. 16, 2003 really wasn't the luckiest day for Sir Alex Ferguson. After watching his Manchester United team fall two goals behind in the first half of their FA Cup tie with Arsenal, he entered the dressing room apoplectic with rage having witnessed a supine performance. Desperate to take his seething anger out on something, the Scot took a wild swipe at a stray boot; it could have gone anywhere, but instead it made contact with the face of the sport's most-photographed man, Beckham. The flying shoe opened up a nasty wound that bled profusely, meaning Becks had to be withdrawn from the action at the halfway point. "If I tried it 100 or a million times it couldn't happen again," Ferguson said.

Wayne Rooney

Another one from the Old Trafford archive. Not a stranger to adverse headlines during his long and generally storied career Rooney was front page news in March, 2015 when a video emerged of him taking a bad fall at home while boxing against former Manchester United teammate Phil Bardsley. Rooney saw the funny side of the incident, though, and celebrated a goal in his side's 3-0 win over Tottenham the same day by pretending to shadow box before falling backwards onto the Old Trafford turf. "I was in a house with some friends. Obviously I was caught on the wrong end of a punch, but I wasn't knocked out like it was reported," Rooney said.

Glenn McGrath

In what was a key moment in the 2005 Ashes series, Glenn McGrath trod on a stray cricket ball during a game of touch-rugby during training -- Australia were so confident that they were practicing a different sport -- before the second Test in Birmingham. The revered seamer had to be helped into a groundsman's buggy by his teammates, having sustained a grade two tear to the lateral ligaments of his right ankle -- a severe-enough injury to prevent him from participating at Edgbaston.

Sam Torrance

Torrance, a former Ryder Cup player and later captain, fell victim to the dreaded plant pot at the Belfry in 1993 due to his sleepwalking habit. "I woke up during the night and there was this huge urn in the room, which I thought was an intruder," he said. "So I just ran at it and smashed it to pieces, cracking my sternum in the process. Luckily nobody heard it and I came clean the next morning."

Rio Ferdinand

Ferdinand rose to prominence prior to the 2006 World Cup with a serious of televised practical jokes - or "merks", as he called them - on his England teammates. Prior to this, he inflicted a tragic self-merking when a Leeds player -- after making laudable use of his time by watching television with his foot on a coffee table for several hours, Ferdinand ended the TV marathon by standing up. So commenced the injury process, as the rising Rio suffered a knee tendon strain.

Mike Tindall

Critics of the World Cup-winning centre may argue that Tindall spent his entire rugby career lurching from one injury to the next. He certainly fell victim to his fair share of misfortune, however, most notably while training in the gym in 2005 when trying to accelerate his recovery from a foot problem. Tindall managed to trap his hand between two weights and required 30 stitches in his hand -- only extending an already-substantial injury layoff.

Kim Clijsters

Clijsters got in to trouble walking her dog in 2007 when she found her pooch too difficult a hurdle, with the resultant fall causing her to bruise her tailbone. "I stumbled over Diesel and fell badly. Very stupid," Clijsters said -- and it's hard to argue with that, really. Not worth its own entry, but a nod to Goran Ivanisevic -- he had to withdraw from a tournament in Miami in 2003 when he stepped on a sharp seashell on the beach and damaged his foot.