Marcus Smart is known for hustle plays and going all-out for loose balls, but it sounds like that may have worked against him recently.
The Boston Celtics guard missed two games for the team with a right hand injury before returning on Friday in a victory over the Phoenix Suns. Smart revealed to reporters the bizarre manner in which he hurt his hand — he cut it on a piece of wood sticking out of the court when he dove for a loose ball against Milwaukee on Christmas Day.
Smart added that he was in excruciating pain in bed the next day, per Jared Weiss of The Athletic.
A two-time All-Defensive First Teamer as well as winner of the NBA Hustle Award in 2019, Smart is a fan favorite for his relentless style. He is also the longest-tenured Celtics player, having been drafted by the team in 2014.
Smart’s style of play definitely comes with its risks though, and he is no stranger to getting hurt in some strange ways.
Photo: Aug 4, 2020; Lake Buena Vista, Florida, USA; Boston Celtics guard Marcus Smart (36) warms up before the first half of a NBA basketball game at the Visa Athletic Center in the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports
Luka Doncic apparently experienced a mishap straight out of “The Three Stooges” this week.
The Dallas Mavericks star said on Tuesday that he bumped knees with a video coordinator at practice the day before, per ESPN’s Ramona Shelburne. Doncic, who has missed the past three games with knee and ankle issues, stressed however that the mishap was not currently affecting him.
It was previously reported that Doncic yelped in pain after an unspecified incident at practice. That it came at the hands of a collision with a video coordinator is certainly unexpected though.
While Doncic downplayed the impact of the incident, any unnecessary bumps or bruises definitely can’t help his cause. The Mavs are 0-3 in his absence, so they need him back in the lineup as soon as possible. The last thing they need is for Doncic to suffer some Kelly Olynyk-esque misfortune.
Photo: May 28, 2021; Dallas, Texas, USA; Dallas Mavericks guard Luka Doncic (77) in action during game three between the Clippers and the Mavericks in the first round of the 2021 NBA Playoffs at American Airlines Center. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports
The Milwaukee Brewers suffered a huge blow to their bullpen this week after standout reliever Devin Williams lost his temper.
Williams said he suffered a fractured right hand after punching a wall during the team’s NL Central clinch celebration Sunday. The injury will require surgery and is likely to rule him out for the remainder of the season.
Losing Williams, the reigning NL Rookie of the Year, is bad enough for Milwaukee. The manner of the injury will only make things more frustrating. It was entirely avoidable, and the fact that it happened during a clinch celebration makes it even more ridiculous. When we see injuries like this, they’re usually a result of a struggling player trying to vent their frustration.
The 27-year-old had been the primary setup man for Josh Hader all season. He posted a 2.50 ERA with 28 walks and 87 strikeouts in 54 innings.
It’s not unusual to hear about a hitter suffering an injury after being hit by a pitch. It’s a bit less common to learn that the pitch was thrown by a pitching machine.
That, however, is what happened to Dodgers utility player Gavin Lux. Lux may not be able to start any of the weekend’s games against the Cincinnati Reds due to a right forearm contusion he suffered when he was hit by a pitch from the pitching machine.
Pitching machines are usually pretty accurate. It may have been a case of a defective one, or maybe Lux just wasn’t paying enough attention to what was going on around him. Maybe something bizarre happened, as was the case with Matt Joyce several years ago.
Lux is hitting .232 with six home runs in 91 games for the Dodgers this season. No word on how good his numbers are against the pitching machine in question.
Alek Manoah has been very impressive since making his MLB debut for the Toronto Blue Jays earlier this season. However, the standout young starter may miss a turn in the rotation due to a freak injury.
Blue Jays manager Charlie Montoyo revealed Monday that Manoah recently slipped and fell on rain-soaked steps in the dugout and bruised his back. The issue is significant enough that Manoah may miss his scheduled start Tuesday against Boston.
It’s not clear precisely when the injury took place. It’s worth noting, however, that the Blue Jays were rained out Saturday.
It’s a tough blow for Manoah, especially in terms of how strange the injury is. The good news is that it doesn’t sound serious, and it’s still a lot less weird than the awkward injury a Toronto pitcher suffered three years ago.
The 23-year-old Manoah was the Jays’ top pick in the 2019 draft. He has a 2.90 ERA with 52 strikeouts in 40 1/3 innings so far in 2021.
Tampa Bay Rays outfielder Kevin Kiermaier had a somewhat unusual reason for leaving Saturday’s game against the Toronto Blue Jays: a troublesome eyelash.
Kiermaier said he had first experienced discomfort while shagging balls during batting practice when an eyelash got into his eye. Kiermaier rinsed the eye out, but that just made things worse.
“A couple minutes in, I was like, dang it, I got an eyelash in my eye,” Kiermaier said, via the Associated Press. “There was an eyelash in there and then we rinsed my eye, and then it disappeared or kind of went into one of these crevices or whatever. Once that happened, everything took a turn for the worse.
“I don’t know how or if we scratched, that’s definitely what it feels like. I keep telling people it just feels like a piece of sand on the inside of my eyelid. Every time I blink, just pressure, irritation, a scratching feeling.”
Kiermaier said things were slightly better Sunday, but he still felt discomfort. He did not play due to a scheduled day off, though he was available off the bench.
Normally when an athlete suffers an eye injury, it’s the product of getting poked or hit there, not this. It certainly qualifies for addition on the long list of weird sports injuries.
Atlanta Braves starting pitcher Huascar Ynoa was extremely frustrated with himself after he allowed five earned runs in a loss to the Milwaukee Brewers on Sunday, and he almost certainly regrets the way he tried to blow off steam.
Ynoa punched a bench in anger after he was removed in the fifth inning of Sunday’s game. On Monday, Braves manager Brian Snitker revealed that the punch resulted in a broken bone in Ynoa’s pitching hand. The right-hander is expected to miss two months.
Ynoa has pitched well for Atlanta this season, so the injury is a big one. He has a record of 4-2 with a 3.02 ERA on the year.
Punching inanimate objects is never a good idea. Many baseball players have learned that the hard way. Ynoa is far from the first player to suffer a significant injury by punching something in frustration. Hopefully he’ll be the last.
Oakland Athletics pitcher Jesus Luzardo might have some explaining to do after suffering a bizarre video game-related injury.
On Sunday, the Athletics placed Luzardo on the IL with a left hand fracture. Manager Bob Melvin later stated that Luzardo broke his pinkie finger after hitting it on a desk while playing a video game prior to Saturday’s start.
Expect some people to have some doubts about this story. After all, video games have been known to cause frustration, and frustration can sometimes lead to some regrettable injury-inducing accidents. Still, even if it’s a freak accident, it’s one of the stranger ones we’ve heard about lately.
The 23-year-old Luzardo is one of Oakland’s top young prospects. It’s not clear how long he’ll be out, but a fractured pinkie on his throwing hand probably doesn’t signal a quick return. That, and the manner of how it happened, has to be frustrating for the A’s.
Zack Wheeler has had an excellent first season with the Philadelphia Phillies thus far, but the right-hander is going to miss some time after he had a little accident while putting on a pair of pants.
Phillies manager Joe Girardi announced on Thursday that Wheeler has been scratched from his scheduled start against the Miami Marlins on Saturday. A nail on Wheeler’s pitching hand is said to be “very sore” after he got it caught while putting on his pants.
The Phillies signed Wheeler to a five-year, $118 million deal this past offseason. He has been worth the money thus far, compiling a 4-0 record with a team-best 2.47 ERA. The injury doesn’t sound like anything too serious, but the Phillies are comfortably in the playoff picture at the moment and will likely play it safe.
Wheeler is not the first MLB pitcher to suffer an extremely bizarre hand injury this year, but the last guy had to undergo surgery. Hopefully Wheeler’s recovery is much quicker.
The 2020 MLB season may be significantly shorter, but we are still getting a full year’s helping of bizarre player injuries.
The Chicago Cubs released a statement Thursday revealing that lefty pitcher Jose Quintana suffered a laceration on his throwing thumb while washing dishes at home. The injury required five stitches, and Quintana subsequently had the thumb surgically repaired after a lacerated digital sensory nerve was identified. He is expecting to resume throwing in two weeks.
The 31-year-old Quintana went 13-9 for the Cubs last season with a 4.68 ERA and 152 strikeouts in 32 appearances. He will be a free agent after the 2020 campaign, making his performance this season particularly crucial.
Quintana will probably be off dish duty for the foreseeable future, but at least he can take solace in knowing that the mishap was not nearly as embarrassing as this fellow pitcher’s food-related finger injury.