Five Celebrities and Athletes Whose Careers Were Ended by Injury

Last weekend during a Team USA scrimmage Indiana Pacers’ star Paul George was severely injured while guarding James Harden on a break away lay-up.  George, who attempted to block the open shot, landed on the base of the basketball hoop, causing his right leg to snap just below the knee; the shocking resulted in a compound leg fracture which will require surgery to fix.  As a result of this injury George will most likely miss the NBA’s next season, and only time will tell how his body recovers; still, with this injury Paul George joins a long list of severely injured celebrities from across the entertainment world. Here is a list of celebrities whose careers were ended as a result of an injury.

5. Joe Theismann

Former quarterback for the Washington Redskins, Joe Thesimann, suffered a career ending injury on November 18, 1985 when a compound fracture caused his leg to snap “like a breadstick” after being sacked by Lawrence Taylor and Harry Carson of the New York Giants. Prior to this injury, Theismann was a part of Redskins’ 1983 Super Bowl Championship team.

4. Steve Young

Three time Super Bowl champion, Steve Young suffered many injuries throughout his 15 year NFL career; in 1999 he was forced to retire after receiving a concussion during a game against the Arizona Cardinals.  Young was sacked by the Cardinals’ Aeneas Williams and began experiencing signs of post-concussion syndrome, causing Young to retire.

3. Yao Ming

Chinese born basketball star, Yao Ming, was a force to be reckoned with when he entered the NBA in 2002 and Ming missed only two games during his first three years in the NBA.  However, Yao Ming’s career would quickly take an unfortunate turn when he was diagnosed with osteomyelitis in 2005, a bone condition which required him to have surgery on one of his big toes and was plagued with subsequent injures ever since.  In July of 2011 Ming announced that he would be retiring from professional basketball as a result of the injuries he had sustained.

2. Wendy White

Renowned mezzo-soprano opera singer, Wendy White has had a total a 499 performances with the Metropolitan Opera.  She suffered a career ending injury on December 17, 2011 during a performance at the Metropolitan Opera when a stage platform collapsed as she walked on to it. The eight foot fall caused severe damages to White’s nerves and muscles and made it impossible for her to reach and sustain necessary notes.

1. Christopher Reeve

Christopher Reeve rose to fame in the 1978 film production of Superman in which he starred as Superman and Clark Kent.  Chris Reev received a career ending and life altering injury on May 27, 1995 when he was thrown from a horse; receiving a spinal injury which caused him to be paralyzed from the neck down.  Reeve was confined to a wheel chair for the rest of his life; he passed away on October 10, 2004.

(Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)

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