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Monday, 22 January, 2001, 13:45 GMT
Couch potatoes and salad cream
The list of bizarre injuries is very long
Sporting injuries can have the most unlikely causes
BBC Sport Online chronicles some of the stranger causes of sporting injuries.

Injuries are occupational hazards for sportsmen.

Most are sustained in the course of action, but sometimes mundane situations can prove the most disastrous of all.

Rio Ferdinand, the world's most expensive defender is currently out of action - but not because he put his body on the line for the sake of his team, Leeds United.

No, the England star managed to strain a tendon in his knee while indulging in a more sedentary activity.

As his manager, David O'Leary explained: "He was watching television and had his foot up on the coffee table. He had it there in a certain position for a number of hours ... and strained a tendon behind his knee."

Dave Beasant was sidelined by a bottle of salad cream
Beasant was sidelined by a bottle of salad cream
Ferdinand may be slightly red-faced about his new status as a crocked couch potato - but at least he knows he is in good company when it comes to bizarre causes of sporting injury.

Take Swedish skier Fredrik Nyberg. Only this week, his season was ended when he suffered concussion and torn knee ligaments after falling into a stream on his way to a pre-race inspection in Kitzbuhel.

To continue the wintery theme, there was former Norwegian International defender Svein Grondalen.

He had to withdraw from an international match after an accident while jogging. He collided with a moose.

Bottle job

Another footballer who suffered a similar freak injury was former England keeper Dave Beasant.

During his time at Southampton, Beasant managed to rupture ankle ligaments after dropping a bottle of salad cream on his foot.

He was attempting to control the falling bottle, which he had accidentally knocked over, but only succeeded in sidelining himself for two months.

Coventry midfielder Youssef Chippo and Tottenham's former Danish international Alan Nielsen were victims of unprovoked eye pokes - albeit from familiar faces.

Nielsen missed several matches after his daughter prodded him in the eye, while Chippo was injured by team-mates after celebrating a goal against Preston North End.

Arsenal players have also been 'crocked' by unforeseen circumstances.

Former fans' favourite Charlie George cut off his finger in a freak lawnmower accident while Steve Morrow was the victim of "excessive celebrations" after scoring the winning goal in the 1993 Littlewoods Cup final against Sheffield Wednesday.

Embarrassing list

A jubilant Tony Adams hoisted Morrow high into the air - only to drop him and break the Northern Ireland international's shoulder.

Cricketers are by no means exempt from the rather embarrassing list.

A bald head proved painful for Chris Lewis
A bald head proved painful for Chris Lewis
Former England all-rounder Derek Pringle injured his back after leaning back in his chair while writing a letter.

Then, during a tour of the West Indies, Chris Lewis decided to shave his head and promptly got sunstroke.

In America, Texas Rangers' Oddibe McDowell missed the start of the baseball season after he cut his finger while buttering a roll at the team's welcome-home luncheon.

And snooker star Ronnie O'Sullivan's recent victory over Dominic Dale in China Open was particularly memorable when he was forced to play with a back strain - after a masseuse "accidentally" hurt his back while he was relaxing at the luxurious Mission Hills Golf Club in Shenzen.

But sometimes these bizarre episodes can have fatal consequences.

Spare a thought for Indonesian footballer Mistar, who was tragically killed by a stampede of wild pigs which invaded his team's training pitch before a Cup fixture in 1995.

Another who suffered a similar - and unforeseen - end was racing driver Camille Jenatzy.

Sneaked outside

In 1913, the Belgian took a group of friends boar hunting. Unfortunately, the hunting was poor and the group resorted to a long dinner and drinking session instead.

Jenatzy was convinced their luck was about to improve and offered bets they would be shooting within the next two hours.

After everyone had gone to bed, he sneaked outside and began making sounds like a wild boar to arouse the sleepy interests of his buddies.

But his own cunning plan backfired as the windows were suddenly flung open and shots were fired.

The hapless Jenatzy died on the spot.

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See also:

22 Jan 01 |  Leeds United
Ferdinand injured in freak accident
12 Dec 00 |  Other Sports
Rocket rocked by injury
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