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Costly Off-Field Athlete Injuries

If you’re a professional athlete, injuries are almost guaranteed. Whether it’s a repetitive stress injury from tennis, a torn ACL from football or something more brutal like a hockey stick to the face, sports injuries are simply a part of life for the professional athlete.

Those who spend their hours on the field may court blunt force trauma, but that doesn’t mean they can’t injure themselves off the field as well. During this year’s baseball spring training, New York Yankees pitcher Joba Chamberlain suffered an open dislocation of his right ankle while playing with his son on a trampoline at a play center in Florida, undergoing surgery on the injury immediately afterward. Chamberlain was released from the hospital three days later and is expected to spend six weeks wearing a cast, although his doctors and coaches are optimistic that he’ll be fit to play this year.

Chamberlain’s injury is another example of how professional athletes suffer the same stubbed toes, paper cuts and tumbles down the stairs as the rest of us, and sometimes he or she suffers off-field injuries so bizarre that they become noteworthy.

What follows is a list of professional athletes whose boo-boos came while they were off-duty. In some cases, the injuries cost the teams the athlete’s services, and in other cases they simply cost the athlete his dignity. Read ahead and see which athletes had the costliest encounters with inanimate objects when they were supposed to be safe and sound.

By Daniel Bukszpan
Posted 22 March 2012

Photo: Getty Images