See Pictures of Players Who Were Never the Same After Injuries

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The sports world has left a lasting impact on its audiences. From the full-contact, adrenaline-inducing shenanigans of American football to the pulse-pounding skillful games of basketball or European football, there’s plenty to choose from. Unfortunately, each sport has the ability to make its mark on you. Whether it be psychological or physical, as is the case of this list, the sports that these players have endured have changed them, for better or for worse. In fact, some athletes sustain such tremendous injuries playing the sports they love that their body is never quite the same again. Unfortunately, this risk is just part of playing the game.

Sounds intriguing? Click “Next” below to see pictures of sports stars and players who were never the same after their injuries, both great and small.

See Pictures of Players Who Were Never the Same After Injuries
Image Source: Dr. Steffens Chiropractic 

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Michael Essien

See Pictures of Players Who Were Never the Same After Injuries
Image Source: Ghana Soccer Net

Our first player comes from the world of European football (soccer), and he is still remembered fondly by all, regardless of his affiliation with Chelsea FC. As a testament to his skill and lasting impact on those who watched him play, he was awarded by fans as the Best Player of the Year during the 2007/08 season. That’s a great impression to leave on the hundreds of thousands of people who support you. Unfortunately, Essien suffered a devastating anterior cruciate ligament injury, which effectively rendered him useless on any major playing field. He now plays in Greece for Panathinaikos.

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Lyle Alzado

See Pictures of Players Who Were Never the Same After Injuries
Image Source: Sports Illustrated

The name “Lyle Alzado” might not be one current football viewers are familiar with, but in his day, he was one of the most feared defensive players in the NFL. Unfortunately, much of his ferocity and aggression continued off the field, as well. This was a direct result of years of extensive steroid-abuse. Alzado reached the peak of his abuse when he was spending around $30,000 a year on steroids, which subsequently cost him his marriage, his reputation, and eventually, his life in 1992, at the young age of 43.

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Derrick Rose

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Image Source: Yahoo! Sports

Here’s a name many of you may already be familiar with, as this ex-NBA superstar is still active in the sports community. We can’t help but wonder where his career might have been, however, were it not for an ACL injury that he suffered early on in his career. When he was still an active player before this injury Rose was primed to be the NBA’s next big superstar. Unfortunately, he never quite recovered fully. Luckily, he’s still alive and doing relatively well for himself.

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Eduardo da Silva

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Image Source: Sportskeeda

Shifting the focus back to Europe, Arsenal’s Eduardo da Silva was originally a cover for long-term absentee, Robin van Persie, but the budding football star forced his way onto the first-team line-up. Da Silva seemed to be making quite a name for himself before suffering a gruesome injury to his left fibula and ankle, which caused him to lose his position with Arsenal. His career never achieved the same height again.

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Brandon Roy

See Pictures of Players Who Were Never the Same After Injuries
Image Source: USA Today

Early on in his NBA career, Roy was already a three-time All-Star within his first four seasons. Indeed, he seemed set to achieve impossibly great heights. Unfortunately, complications with his knees forced this budding superstar to retire – twice. You heard us. After undergoing an operation to remove a piece of cartilage in his left knee, he subsequently retired after finding difficulty playing during the 2010/11 season. He attempted a comeback in Minnesota in the 2012 season. It lasted just 5 games before he required yet another operation, this time in his right knee. He then retired for good.

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Robert Edwards

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Image Source: Pats Pulpit

As a rookie player for the Patriots, Edwards rushed for more than 1,100 yards, and he seemed – at the time – to be one of the NFL’s most promising up-and-comers. Unfortunately, his budding career was forever changed by a freak knee injury he sustained during the “Beach Bowl” game of the Pro Bowl, which almost resulted in his leg being amputated. Thankfully, Edwards managed to keep all of his appendages, but his career was never the same. He played in the Canadian Football League for a while until 2002 when he threw in the towel for good.

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Clayton Weishuhn

See Pictures of Players Who Were Never the Same After Injuries
Image Source: Daily Sport X

Weishuhn was something of a bull on the football field during his brief NFL stint. In 1983, during his second season, he set a single-season record of 223 tackles. Unfortunately, that was also the last full season Weishuhn would play. During the first week of his next season, Weishuhn suffered a debilitating knee injury that caused him to miss out on the rest of that season. Issues persisted, costing him the 1985 season, as well, and further injuries limited his playing time in the 1986 season to just 4 games. Despite this, his impact on the record books can still be felt today.

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Marc Savard

See Pictures of Players Who Were Never the Same After Injuries
Image Source: Keith Srakocic

Savard was a supremely promising hockey player from the get-go, averaging just under 90 points per season from 2005/06 through 2008/09. Unfortunately, in March of 2010, he was blindsided by Matt Cooke of Pittsburgh, which left Savard with a severe concussion, forcing him to drop out for the rest of that season. Savard briefly returned for the postseason, but he suffered yet another concussion, the effects of which he still suffers from to this day.

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Grant Hill

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Image Source: Cleveland.com

Hill quickly established himself as a fantastic all-around player in the NBA for the Detroit Pistons. He played for six phenomenal seasons but was beset throughout by career-altering ankle surgeries. After changing his allegiances and relocating to Florida, Hill was continually plagued by chronic ankle issues and only managed to appear in around 200 regular-season games between the 2000/01 and 2006/07 seasons. He was able to play until the age of 40 when he retired, but he never managed to reclaim his former Detroit glory.

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Jamaal Charles

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Image Source: The Denver Post

Reshifting our focus to something a little more recent, Charles was a four-time Pro Bowler before his 2015 season, which was effectively the end of his budding career. At the start of the season, the offensive tactics of Charles’ team – the Kansas City Chiefs – all revolved around him. However, during the first four weeks of the 2016 season, Charles sustained severe knee injuries that saw him go under the knife twice. He has since been released by the Kansas City Chiefs and has played for several smaller teams, but it’s clear that his career will never again reach those same heights.

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Yao Ming

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Image Source: X Games

A 7’6 All-Star center from China, Yao-Ming made five different All-Star NBA teams across his short – yet highly successful – career. His skill almost seemed effortless, and he could easily play in any role he was offered. Unfortunately, Ming suffered foot, back, and knee injuries, and he only managed to eke out about 57 games per season after 2005. He was eventually sidelined for good after the 2010/11 season, but he has left a lasting impression on the NBA. His coach, Jeff Van Gundy, quoted in an interview, “Outside of Shaq, Yao Ming was the best center in the world.”

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Michael Owen

See Pictures of Players Who Were Never the Same After Injuries
Image Source: BBC

Once England’s most promising striker, Owen is remembered for the mountain of success he achieved while playing for Liverpool. Unfortunately, pedigree alone was not enough to protect him from an ACL injury during the 2006 World Cup in a game England fought against Sweden. After this injury, Owen could never again reach his previous level of play, and after unsuccessful stints at both Manchester United and Stokes, he came off the field for good. However, he is still active in the Footballing world as a commentator.

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Kieron Dyer

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Image Source: Sporty Tell

Though he may not be as well known for his talent as some of the others on this list, Kieron Dyer was definitely a skilled and dependable midfielder, but he quickly became known for something no professional athlete with a budding career wants to be recognized for – a string of injuries. Through Dyer’s career as a footballer, he was constantly plagued by injuries, but none were quite so grievous as the one he sustained during a game against the Bristol Rovers while playing for West Ham. After this, while he continued to play professionally, Dyer continued to receive plenty of injuries, which have given him a reputation as being cursed.

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Robbie Fowler

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Image Source: Liverpool Echo

Yet another footballer who left an impression of incredible potential, Fowler was a phenomenal Liverpudlian player who scored a whopping 183 goals in 369 appearances. Unfortunately, after a derby-day collision with Everton goalkeeper Thomas Mhyre in 1998, things would never be the same for the staunch up-and-comer. Fowler insists that he could have gone on to become “the best in the world”, and it’s not hard to see why he might think that. He had already set several records during his fledgling career, but that fateful day in 1998 made him lose whatever spark he previously had.

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Robert Griffin III

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Image Source: The Sports Fan Journal

A fairly recognizable face on this list because he is still moderately active even now, Robert Griffin III had a promising career with the Washington Redskins. In 2012, after throwing for 20 touchdowns during that season, he was named Offensive Player of the Year, but he would never again reach those same heights. A playoff game against the Seattle Seahawks saw him sustain a knee injury that effectively rendered his career obsolete. He played so poorly when he returned that the Redskins inactivated him for the last three games of that season to prevent him from sustaining any more injuries. They subsequently let him go, as well.

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Andrew Luck

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Image Source: Business Insider

During his brief career, Luck was a Pro Cowl candidate for three straight seasons, and he led the NFL in passing touchdowns with a record-best 40 touchdown passes. All he was missing was a Super Bowl ring, and in 2015, fans figured it would finally be his year. Unfortunately, four weeks into the season, Luck proved to be rather un-Lucky when he suffered a shoulder injury and had to drop out of an NFL game for the first time as a result. He briefly returned for three subsequent games, but he suffered yet another injury, which was pretty much the nail in the coffin for Luck’s once-promising career.

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Greg Oden

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Image Source: Oregon Live

Oden’s long track record of injuries, his incredibly promising career, and his draft pedigree makes him one of the most prolific entries on this list. Before everything went pear-shaped, Oden was a true franchise anchor whose defensive capabilities seemed set to make him Player of the Year. Plus, his offensive strengths made him a fantastic all-round player. Between 2007 and 2010, Oden sustained several unfortunate injuries, which slowed down his career. A brief cameo in 2013 was essentially the last time we would see him on the NBA floor.

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Dean Ashton

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Image Source: Talk Sport

Ashton was set to have an incredibly promising football career and was primed to represent both England and play for Arsenal after his excellent performance with the Hammers in 2006. The tragedy of his career-ending injury was that he sustained it during a mere training session. Indeed, during a Shaun Wright-Phillips challenge, Ashton sustained an injury that caused him to miss an entire year of football. He briefly returned to play for the Hammers once more, and it seemed that he was back on track. However, he quickly realized that his ankle would never fully recover, and he was forced to retire at the age of 26, which is when most players are said to be entering their best years.

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Bo Jackson

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Image Source: ESPN

One of the most monumental athletes in sports history, it once seemed that there was nothing Jackson couldn’t do. Both a baseball all-star and NFL superstar, Jackson not only cemented his name forever in the sports world, but he also left a prominent mark on pop culture as a whole. Throughout the 80s, everyone recognized his name. But in 1991, at the height of his career, Jackson suffered a devastating, career-ending injury when he was tackled from behind, dislocating his hip. Although he would never play professional football again, he had forever made his mark on the sport and is greatly respected within the community.

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Joe Montana

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Image Source: The Post Game

Our last entry is a name everyone – even those who aren’t at all interested in sports – should recognize. A bona fide superstar during the 80s, Montana was hip, cool, and a nearly insurmountable force to be reckoned with on the field. He even made an appearance on SNL. Because of Montana, the 49ers were set to win their third Super Bowl in a row, but a tackle by the Giants’ Leonard Marshall put Montana out of commission and cost his team the Super Bowl. The 49ers eventually let him go, and he did, in fact, find success with his new team, the Chiefs. However, it was clear to both Montana and all of his fans that things would never be the same.

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