Athlete’s who made comebacks after career-ending injuries

karanveernath19 karanveernath19

In sports, injuries are inevitable. Even when athletes are in peak physical form and specifically train to stay fit and mobile, a single errant step, awkward landing, or violent collision can bend joints and limbs in ways they aren’t meant to move. When those serious injuries happen to athletes, it makes the return tougher, but the injury comebacks even better to watch. Let’s take a look into some athletes who made comebacks from career-ending injuries. 

Tiger Woods

Tiger Woods’s career has been filled with injuries, suffering double-stress back fractures in 2008, because of which the professional golfer had to undergo several surgeries. Woods also dealt with these back again in around 2015 & 2016, where the back injuries were close to ending his career, and there were chances of him never playing a PGA tour again.

However, the greatest golfer of all time proved his worth by not only coming back from this injury but winning the PGA tour in 2018, for the first time since 2013, and then winning the masters in 2019, showing the world that he’s the best player to ever step foot on a golf course. 

Paul George 

Paul George or as most NBA fans refer to him as PG13 has been a sensation in the NBA over the last decade, and is one of the best small forwards in the game right now playing for the LA Clippers. In his earlier days with the Indiana Pacers, Paul George suffered a gruesome injury in 2014. While contesting a lay-up, he landed directly on the base of the basket stanchion, completely buckling and causing a compound tibia-fibula fracture.

George’s injury looked like it would be career-ending or at least career-changing. But George rehabbed hard, and ultimately returned to play six games toward the end of the 2014-15 season. Then, in 2015-16, he showed off how his recovery went by putting together the best statistical season of his career to that point. George averaged a career-best 23.1 points per game and started all 81 games that he played for the Pacers.

Tom Brady 

In 2008, Brady was coming off of an MVP year and a Super Bowl loss to the New York Giants when he suffered a season-ending injury in Week 1 against the Kansas City Chiefs. Brady tore the ACL and MCL in his left knee, ending his streak of 111 straight starts for the New England Patriots. Brady came back the next season and looked as good as ever, passing for 4,389 yards and 28 touchdowns and didn’t miss a game till 2015. 

The NFL star played in all 16 games each season for the Pats in the six years prior to the injury, and he has done the same from 2009 to 2015.

Luke Shaw 

Many considered a comeback to be impossible when images of Luke Shaw’s double-leg break were circulated following the Champions League match against PSV Eindhoven in 2015. However, after several struggles and setbacks, Shaw made a name after back-to-back impressive seasons with United after 2019.

In 2020, On the back of a prolific season, Shaw became the backbone of United’s attack from the left and was a key part of England’s Euro squad. Scoring a goal in the finals, Shaw scripted one of the most heroic injury comebacks in recent times.

Petr Cech

Most football fans associate rugby-style headgear when Petr Cech is mentioned. However, the legendary goalkeeper did not start wearing it as a fashion statement. It was the saving grace that allowed him to continue playing football.

After a horrible skull fracture vs Reading that made him undergo near-death condition in 2006, Cech started wearing the headgear to protect his head. Much of what Cech achieved as a goalkeeper came after the incident, as he evidently made a comeback winning a Champions League with Chelsea in addition to multiple domestic titles as well as keeping most clean sheets in the Premier League. His redemption story is as inspiring as it gets.

Max Parrot 

Three years after his diagnosis and a dozen chemotherapy treatments, Max Parrot, the 27-year-old nailed the biggest run of his career on a one-of-a-kind course to top the podium. Three years ago, the Canadian slopestyle snowboarder was sprawled across a hospital bed in Granby, Que., one of a dozen chemotherapy treatments in six months’ time pumping into his ravaged body to fight his Hodgkin’s lymphoma diagnosis. 

Now, in 2022, the Canadian Snowboarder just won a gold medal in the 2022 winter Olympics in Beijing, in what has definitely has to be one of the greatest sporting comebacks in history. After receiving the cancer-free all-clear in 2019, Parrot not only battled back from the brink but aced what he described as “the hardest run I’ve ever done in my career,” landing three straight triple corks on his second of three finals tries to grab the gold medal of snowboarding. 

Andy Murray

Andy Murray has had one of the most intriguing and talked about tennis careers of all time. From the highs of Grand Slam titles and reaching World No.1, the setbacks and injuries that almost ended his career have been a major talking point. 

Andy Murray has always had issues with his hip and back throughout his tennis career. In 2019, Murray announced the pain he’s suffering through and was close to retiring from the sport. In March 2019, the UK athlete underwent his second hip operation, known as hip-resurfacing, and was targeted at playing ‘pain-free’ tennis which hadn’t experienced since his first hip injury in 2013. 

In August 2019, Murray made his return to singles tennis, and was back amongst the winning circle, beating Wawrinka in the final of the European Open in Antwerp, Belgium. Andy Murray has shown great recovery from all his recurring injuries, reaching his 69th career ATP final at the Sydney Tennis Classic, in January 2022, where he lost to top seed Aslan Karatsev 

Petra Kvitova 

Petra Kvitova is a Czech professional tennis player who has won 28 singles titles, and two Grand Slams, both Wimbledon in 2011 and 2014. In December 2016, Kvitova’s career took a shocking turn as she was out from an injury which occured due to a knife attack at her home. 

This horrific event not only kept her out of tennis for more than 7 months, but also affected her mentally, leaving the professional tennis player in a state of trauma. The Czech, who won Wimbledon in 2011 and 2014, underwent four hours of surgery to her left hand following the attack at her home in Prostejov, Czech Republic, at the end of 2016, and she made a quicker recovery than expected. She made her return to tennis in the French Open the following year.

Yao Ming 

Towering at 7 feet 6 inches tall, Yao Ming was one of the tallest players in NBA history but his career only spanned a little more than seven seasons because of nagging injuries. He played in at least 80 games in each of his first three seasons in the NBA but played in less than 60 games in four of the last five seasons of his career, missing nearly two entire seasons. 

In 2011, at the age of 30, Ming hung up his sneakers for good, blaming constant injuries to his feet and ankles for his sudden retirement. He was an All-Star in all eight seasons he played and landed in the Basketball Hall of Fame despite the injuries that had kept his career totals down.

Santi Cazorla 

Not many footballers can make comebacks from injuries like Santi Cazorla did. The Arsenal magician needed to undergo eight ankle surgeries to treat his Achilles tendon injury. Doctors considered it to be almost impossible for him to return to the football pitch ever again.

However, Cazorla returned to football back in the La Liga with Villarreal in a grand fashion, leading them to an impressive finish in the 2019/20 season. In addition, the veteran made it to the Spanish national team’s squad yet again.

Klay Thompson 

Klay Thompson made his long awaited return to the basketball court for Golden State Warriors after suffering a horrific ACL injury vs the Toronto Raptors in the 2019 NBA finals. 

Thompson tore the ACL of his left knee in game 6 of the finals and was absent from the game for 31 months, making his comeback vs Cleveland Cavaliers in 2022, in now is mix to compete for another NBA championship. 

Athlete’s who made comebacks after career-ending injuries
Share this article


Karanveer Nath karanveernath@gmail.com

Follow the author’s social media

Leave a Reply

The value is incorrect

The value is incorrect

The value is incorrect

Something went wrong. Please, try again later

Your comment has been sent!

Latest from

Premier League 2024-25 Stadiums

Premier League 2024/25 Stadiums

Rahul Saha Rahul Saha

This article contains information about the teams participating in the 2024-25 season of the Premier League and their home grounds.

Find out why the England team couldn't win their first European Cup match for a long time.

The Team That Finally Won Their First EURO Opening Match on Their 10th Attempt

AMD Editor AMD Editor

The European Championship (EURO Cup) has been played for 16 seasons. In each season, fans cheer for their favourite teams. The 17th season is coming up, and fans will once...

Find out who are going to make their debut at the Euro 2024 Cup.

5 Exciting Players Set to Make Their EURO Cup Debut in 2024

AMD Editor AMD Editor

Another season of the EURO Cup is here, offering young stars a chance to shine and show their football skills to the world. This tournament has been the stage where...