10 Pro Athletes Who Suffered Career-Ending Injuries

10 Pro Athletes Who Suffered Career-Ending Injuries

Health and Fitness

10 Pro Athletes Who Suffered Career-Ending Injuries


Sports have been created to entertain people. But it can also bring about just as many consequences as it entertains people. There are risks in every game. The audience may enjoy it but many times the athletes suffer. It ends their careers and sometimes results in death.

You will see huge names of professional athletes from different sports who ended their shiny careers due to injuries. Many of these athletes would probably have reigned on their field if they had not been injured. Here are the top 10 pro athletes who suffered career-ending injuries:

Bill Walton

Jan 2, 2020; Boulder, Colorado, USA; ESPN broadcaster Bill Walton before the game between the Oregon Ducks against the Colorado Buffaloes at the CU Events Center. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

Bill Walton was a famous name in the college basketball leagues in the 1970s. Basketball lovers will never forget his UCLA team’s performance. Walton’s special techniques to pass, block shots, and rebound earned him the Naismith Trophy three times in a row. Also, the Portland Trail Blazers selected Bill as the No. 1 overall player in the 1974 NBA Draft. 

However, NBA fans only got a glimpse of his boundless talents. The reason behind this was wanton’s debilitating foot and ankle injuries. These injuries prevented Bill from continuing his illustrious career in the NBA.

Daunte Culpepper

In the early 2000s, Daunte Culpepper was like magic at the quarterback position of the field. He was a valuable part of the Minnesota Vikings. Moreover, he took the Vikings to the playoffs two times and being named to two All-pro teams and three Pro bowls. Also, he was the top player in the 2004 season with 4717 passing yards and a 69.2 percent of the successful passing rate.

After having outstanding five seasons, in 2005, Daunte suffered a serious knee injury during a match against the Panthers. After that, the Vikings released him in 2006 and the Dolphins buy him. However, Daunte Culpepper was trying to come back but he failed. Finally, he quit his NFL career at the age of 31 in 2008.

Pat LaFontaine

Pat LaFontaine was a top-tier upper-echelon NHL player in the last decade of the 20th century. In his 15 years of career, he holds two great records. Those are 148 points in a season and per game 1.17 points of career average. These two achievements are still the best for an American-born NHL player. 

In 1997, Pat was injured on a hit by an enforcer from his opponent team Pittsburgh Penguins. After that, he played one more season but did not do well because of his injury. Therefore, he leaves the ice yards forever.

Sandy Koufax

Sandy Koufax is one of the most devastating left-handed players in baseball history. He won the Cy Young Awards and the pitching Triple Crown three times. He was just untouchable until the onset of arthritis. After that, his hands were weakening him. And doctors warned him that if he did not stop playing baseball, he might lose the use of his arm forever. So, Sandy ended his career 165-87 with a 2.76 ERA.

Andrew Luck

Denver Broncos Peyton Manning shakes hands with Indianapolis Colts Andrew Luck after a game. Both took the Wonderlic test.
Luck 14

The Four-time pro bowler with Indianapolis Colts and star quarterback Andrew Luck… suddenly gave his fans a shock by announcing his early retirement. He suffered from painful internal injuries in 2015. Also, Luck did not play the entire 2017 season due to his throwing shoulder surgery. Finally, in 2019, Andrew Luck decided to end his seven years of NFL career.

Eric Lindros

Eric Lindros is another professional NHL player who suffered career-ending injuries. He was physically affluent and one of the most hyped players in history. But his spirits did not last long because of some devastating hits. Moreover, New Jersey’s Scott Stevens’ hit was one of the main reasons behind Eric’s untimely retirement. Eric Lindros finishes his career with 865 goals in 760 games, which means more than one goal per game.

David Busst

A former professional football player with a dark history, his name is David Busst. He was an amazing footballer from England and played for Coventry City for 5 years. However, he was having a great time before his career-ending match against Manchester United

David collided with two opponent players during the match in 1996. As a result, the lower bones of this right leg were fractured badly. After that, the MRSA virus attack followed his 26 subsequent operations and completely ended his career.

Tony Conigliaro

Tony Conigliaro was a Boston-area native MLB player with a successful starting career. He completed 32 home runs when he was just 20 years old. And surprisingly then took the score to 104 over the next two years. But unfortunately, Tony was hit below his eye by a pitch and did not play for the next two years. Over time, his vision began to degrade. Therefore, he had to end his career in despair.

Gale Sayers

Arguably one of the fastest and the best open-field runners, Gale Sayers, was such a skilled NFL player. For seven years, he was a member of the Chicago Bears. In this short time of his career, Gale landed in the Hall of Fame of Pro Football. Also, Gale twice led the team in rushing and three times in all-purpose yards. 

But his two major sudden knee injuries in 1968 and 1970 left him unable to continue his career. Therefore, Gayle Sayers retired at the young age of 28 years. If Gale had played another 10-12 full seasons, he could have been the best rusher in NFL history.

Yao Ming

In the list of tallest players in the NBA, Yao Ming will come in the first row with 7 feet 6 inches. Also, his basketball skills are on another level that gave him All-Star achievement in all eight seasons he played. 

This Houston Rockets star played 80+ games in each of the first three seasons. After that, the match counts dropped down to 60 each in his next four seasons. Yao Ming put up his sneakers for good at the age of 30, in 2011, citing ongoing foot and ankle ailments as the reason for his abrupt retirement.

Most of these athletes suffered career-ending injuries at an early age. Some were injured in the middle of the game and some were intentionally hit. As a result, they could not enjoy their beautiful life and bright career.

Not only the athletes we ourselves can face these situations in real life. So, everyone should have backup plans like life insurance, hiring a personal injury attorney, and other plans. Also, ensure the safety of you and your family wherever you go or whatever you do. Wishing you have a very happy life.

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