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CocoaNuts
Jun 12, 2020


drat, man! I really never gave Alex Smith a chance of playing NFL football ever again. Massive props to that guy for making it back onto the gridiron!

Do you know of any other athletic return from a seeming career-ending injury that is more impressive?

FYI, one of the pics below is totally gruesome. Be forewarned!!







https://twitter.com/jordanasri/stat...876621737254912





https://twitter.com/E60/status/1255152173886787584

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Windmill Hut
Jul 21, 2008


At just 20 years old and in only his second season in the AFL, Alex Johnson played in the 2012 Grand Final, the Aussie rules equivalent of the Superbowl. His team, Sydney, won the game.

Johnson tore his ACL during a practice match before the start 2013 season and missed the year. Between 2013-2018, he then ruptured the same ACL FIVE MORE TIMES, and went through numerous complications with infections etc from surgery.

He persevered and finally played another game in the AFL in 2018. Six years - 1736 days - after his last game.

Unfortunately he later ruptured the ACL in his other knee and had to retire. Poor bloke couldn't catch a break

Dejan Bimble
Mar 24, 2008

we're all black friends


Plaster Town Cop

It's a tough criteria, if we're just going for broadcast spectacle of a gruesome injury, there's Joe Theissman who never came back, Kevin Ware who's playing in the lowest level of professional basketball in europe, Jusuf Nurkic who seems to be okay now. Then another group with guys who had horrible head injuries on field, like the guy who did the mummy arms out after getting concussed during an NFL game.

Declan MacManus
Sep 1, 2011

damn i'm really in this bitch



shaun livingston's knee was destroyed but he managed to carve out a pretty successful nba career as a sixth man type; it's especially impressive when you consider that he couldn't walk for two months after the injury

there's also andrew bogut, who landed on his own arm after a dunk, and that was pretty loving horrific

finally, paul george recently (like six years ago) destroyed his leg on a stanchion in a team usa practice but after missing a year he seems to have suffered no long term effects from it

R.D. Mangles
Jan 10, 2004



Declan MacManus posted:

shaun livingston's knee was destroyed but he managed to carve out a pretty successful nba career as a sixth man type; it's especially impressive when you consider that he couldn't walk for two months after the injury

there's also andrew bogut, who landed on his own arm after a dunk, and that was pretty loving horrific

finally, paul george recently (like six years ago) destroyed his leg on a stanchion in a team usa practice but after missing a year he seems to have suffered no long term effects from it

one effect might be choking in the playoffs

Number_6
Jul 23, 2006

BAN ALL GAS GUZZLERS

(except for mine)


Pillbug

I gotta go with racing driver Alex Zanardi, who lost his legs in a horrific crash in 2001 and (eventually) came back to racing again.

Unfortunately he was involved in a massive crash in a handbike race earlier this year and suffered major head trauma, but is still alive.

beejay
Apr 7, 2002



Toilet Rascal

Jerry Rice tore his ACL and came back during the same regular season which is insane. Of course he broke his kneecap in the game he returned in, but still.

iwentdoodie
Apr 29, 2005

YOU'RE WELCOME

Alex Zinardi lost both of his legs in a crash in 2001 while racing in CART. Both were essentially severed just above the knee, and he lost like 75% of his blood.

In 2003 he completed the 13 laps he missed when the series returned to the track. In 2004 he started racing touring cars again and in 2005 got a win, and ended up winning 8 of 12 in the series that year. He also competed in the 2019 Daytona 24hrs.

He also competed in Iron Man in 2014, finished 272nd overall but 19th of 240 something in his age bracket (45-49) while using a hand bike for the bike, and a wheelchair for the run and a time of like 9:50. In 2018 he finished in 8:26 and set a disabled world record, and would've been 5th overall. He also has 4 Paralympic golds for hand cycle, 2 or 3 silvers, and numerous world championships.

I'd say thats a pretty impressive comeback.

Edit:

Number_6 posted:

I gotta go with racing driver Alex Zanardi, who lost his legs in a horrific crash in 2001 and (eventually) came back to racing again.

Unfortunately he was involved in a massive crash in a handbike race earlier this year and suffered major head trauma, but is still alive.

You absolute rear end in a top hat lol.

Intruder
Mar 5, 2003

Another skit?!



Jason Kendall's leg exploded from stepping on first wrong and he had 678 PA the following season

Kirios
Jan 25, 2010



Gordon Heyward had a horrific injury in his first game as a Celtic and came back the following year. You could make the argument he still isn't as good as he was before, but still, it's mighty impressive that he came back from that.

CocoaNuts
Jun 12, 2020


Two mentions of Alex Zanardi here. I wasn't familiar with his story as I've never been an auto racing fan (never followed paracycling either, to be honest). Anyway, sounds like he's a freakin survivor.

Vando
Oct 26, 2007

I want to be one of
those madmen


If we're doing racing drivers the classic is Niki Lauda: crashed halfway through the season defending his F1 world championship, burned half his face off, hosed up his lungs from inhaling burning debris, was given the last rites in the hospital and yet still only missed two races. He lost the championship by one point, but won the next year and also a for a third time 7 years later.

hunnert car pileup
Oct 28, 2007

the first world was a mistake



Also in motorsports is motorcycle racer Mick Doohan, who suffered a severe broken leg whilst running away with the world championship in 1992, to the point where doctors attending to him had pretty much decided to amputate his leg. The riders' traveling physician practically had to smuggle him out of the hospital and bring him to his practice in Italy to keep that from happening. Mick came back before season's end, nowhere near fully healed, and still almost was able to hang on to the world title, losing it to Wayne Rainey. After a year or so of fiddling around with different braking systems on his bike, he won 5 straight world championships from '94-'98 before yet another badly broken leg ended his career in 1999.

iwentdoodie
Apr 29, 2005

YOU'RE WELCOME

Basically racing drivers and riders will readily try to kill themselves and come back repeatedly. Honestly its almost cheating to include them. The injuries are far worse and they will do absolutely everything in the world to get back.

Edit:
Hinchcliffe getting a piece of metal through his thigh that severed an artery.

Kenny Roberts breaking his back prior to the 79 MotoGP season, getting back on the bike in 6 weeks. Missed the first race, won the second, and defended his title that year.

The list goes on.

iwentdoodie fucked around with this message at 22:28 on Oct 17, 2020

clean ayers act
Aug 13, 2007

How do I shot puck!?

I dont know if most impressive but i'm going to give a recent example from cycling, Taylor Phinney

During the USA National Road Race in 2014, he was descending lookout mountain when a motorcycle ref interfered with his line as he came into a corner. He slid out and crashed leg first into a guardrail. The result was an open compound fracture of the tibia and a severed patellar tendon in his left leg. The crash was bad enough that a cyclist on another team stopped to help.
There was a real sense his career might be over at 22. Here is what his leg looked like after surgery:



Anyway, he was able to return after more than a year and actually won the USA time trial championship in 2016, though he has since retired.
Basically cycling is full of riders and ridiculous injuries. In 1956, Fiorenzo Magni broke his left arm during the Giro but refused a cast and used a loving inner tube to hold himself up for leverage.

However his steering and braking was hosed, so he crashed again and broke his humerus and passed out. He woke up in the ambulance and yelled and them to stop, got back on his bike, and rejoined the race.
He finished Second


It turns out flying down mountains at 60+ mph in spandex is not healthy, who knew?

iwentdoodie
Apr 29, 2005

YOU'RE WELCOME

I'll amend my previous statement to just include anything with wheels. There really is just something that climbs in your mind and breaks it, it seems like.

Katana_Warrior
Dec 25, 2009



Clint Malarchuk got his jugular sliced open by a skate and not only did he not die, but he was back on the ice within a couple weeks. Couldn't be me.

CocoaNuts
Jun 12, 2020


Katana_Warrior posted:

Clint Malarchuk got his jugular sliced open by a skate and not only did he not die, but he was back on the ice within a couple weeks. Couldn't be me.

I heard a really intriguing interview with Malarchuk on the radio several months ago. He became really depressed after he retired from the NHL and attempted suicide, partly related to that gruesome incident's lingering affects on his psyche.

Drunk Canuck
Jan 9, 2010

Robots ruin all the fun of a good adventure.


Wikipedia posted:

On September 29, 2003, Dany Heatley was seriously injured in a car accident after he lost control of the Ferrari 360 Modena he was driving on a curved road in a residential area of Atlanta. The car struck a wall, splitting in half and ejecting Heatley and his passenger, Atlanta Thrashers' teammate Dan Snyder. Heatley suffered a broken jaw, a minor concussion, a bruised lung and a bruised kidney, and he tore three ligaments in his right knee. Snyder was critically injured with a skull fracture and died in hospital of sepsis on October 5, 2003.



Dany went on to getting dealt to Ottawa, having multiple career high 50 goal seasons.

Drunk Canuck fucked around with this message at 01:06 on Oct 18, 2020

hunnert car pileup
Oct 28, 2007

the first world was a mistake



CocoaNuts posted:

I heard a really intriguing interview with Malarchuk on the radio several months ago. He became really depressed after he retired from the NHL and attempted suicide, partly related to that gruesome incident's lingering affects on his psyche.

IIRC Grantland did a short film on this incident quite a few years ago and the effects it had on him afterward, but yeah it hosed with him mentally for a long time.

indigi
Jul 20, 2004

picture me workin McDonald's!
I'd rather pull a mac on you
sorry Ms. Jackson, but I'm packin


Pillbug

CocoaNuts posted:

I heard a really intriguing interview with Malarchuk on the radio several months ago. He became really depressed after he retired from the NHL and attempted suicide, partly related to that gruesome incident's lingering affects on his psyche.

wow seems like hes bad at dying

Teemu Pokemon
Jun 19, 2004

To sign them is my real test

With full no movement clause


willis mcgahee had a pretty successful nfl career after having the innards of his knee turned into juice in the 2002 national title game

pseudodragon
Jun 16, 2007




Katana_Warrior posted:

Clint Malarchuk got his jugular sliced open by a skate and not only did he not die, but he was back on the ice within a couple weeks. Couldn't be me.

Richard Zednik too. The image of him trailing blood and trying to hold his neck closed as he raced back to the bench to get medical attention before he bled out was pretty gross.

CBJSprague24
Dec 5, 2010

Again, Torts took him to a very high mountain and showed him Nationwide and all its splendor.

"All this I will give you," he said, "if you will lay down and block for me." -Jackets 15:16



iwentdoodie posted:

Basically racing drivers and riders will readily try to kill themselves and come back repeatedly. Honestly its almost cheating to include them. The injuries are far worse and they will do absolutely everything in the world to get back.

Edit:
Hinchcliffe getting a piece of metal through his thigh that severed an artery.

Kenny Roberts breaking his back prior to the 79 MotoGP season, getting back on the bike in 6 weeks. Missed the first race, won the second, and defended his title that year.

The list goes on.

Ernie Irvan suffered the injury that killed a pile of drivers, most notably Dale Earnhardt (Basilar Skull Fracture), but survived and raced and won again.

His last win came at the track where he suffered the injury:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=37oR79cvRVA

RC and Moon Pie
May 5, 2011




pseudodragon posted:

Richard Zednik too. The image of him trailing blood and trying to hold his neck closed as he raced back to the bench to get medical attention before he bled out was pretty gross.

Zednik's injury was a trigger for Malarchuk, whose suicide attempt was actually a gunshot to the head. He didn't hit anything vital.

Tommy John's tendon transfer surgery was experimental and he was given 100-1 odds of pitching again. It took two years for him to come back, then he pitched 13 more.

Though brief, Dave Dravecky's return to pitching after cancer treatments on his throwing arm was pretty impressive. Dravecky broke the arm on a pitch in his second start (), then re-broke it in playoffs celebration, then had the cancer come back.

Pro wrestling has a bunch of insane stuff as pro wrestlers are generally insane.

KYOON GRIFFEY JR
Apr 12, 2010




Drivers are kind of cheating, but Robert Kubica, a F1 driver, was in a rally accident where he partially amputated his arm and sustained multiple compound fractures in his limbs. Took a seven hour surgery and then a couple of more surgeries to put him back together and reattach his hand. He came back in to F1 as a regular driver (although admittedly for a very bad team with a very bad car). I don't know if it's more impressive but it's certainly in the same vein.

In skiing, Hermann Maier, who became a (relative) household name after winning gold at Nagano in 1998, was in a horrible motorcycle accident when he was struck by a car in 2001. He almost died, and they nearly amputated his leg but instead put it back together. In 2004, he won the Super-G again, and the overall title.

Quick video on Maier: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g_7Qy6jplB4

BWV
Feb 24, 2005



Just putting this as a placeholder for when Steph Curry comes back next year.

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Dejan Bimble
Mar 24, 2008

we're all black friends


Plaster Town Cop

CBJSprague24 posted:

Ernie Irvan suffered the injury that killed a pile of drivers, most notably Dale Earnhardt (Basilar Skull Fracture), but survived and raced and won again.

His last win came at the track where he suffered the injury:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=37oR79cvRVA

Then he crashed again and was permanently hosed up

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