Yesterday, Bucks guard O.J. Mayo’s saw his season (and likely his Milwaukee basketball career) come to an abrupt end when he fractured his ankle falling down his home stairs. Now relegated to sixth-man—even seventh-man—territory and posting a mere 7.8 PPG in 41 contests during the 2015-16 season, Mayo’s loss is far from catastrophic, especially for a team presently dwelling in the cellar of the Eastern Conference’s central division. It’s also not the first time something like this has happened. In fact, strange sports injuries aren’t an unfamiliar occurrence in Milwaukee sports. Through the years, numerous athletes have fallen suspect to unorthodox ailments that have kept them off the court or diamond. From salad tong abuse to scorpion bites and parlor tricks gone wrong, here are the 10 strangest Milwaukee sports injuries we can recall.
1. Francisco Rodriguez, Milwaukee Brewers — Stepping on cactus (2014)
At the tail end of a prolific career as a closer, K-Rod encountered a more dangerous foe than anyone he ever faced on the mound: the almighty cacti. The quasi-legendary reliever made the mistake of stepping on a cactus while walking barefoot in Arizona. He missed a few spring training games, but went on to save 44 games amid an All-Star campaign in 2012.
2. Larry Sanders, Milwaukee Bucks — Nightclub altercation (2013)
Now “retired” due to lifestyle reasons the NBA imposed upon him, power forward Larry Sanders’ slip-ups really started in 2013, when he missed a few games on account of a thumb injury he sustained after a nightclub altercation. Based on how slippery the floor seemed, it’s a miracle Sanders only injured his thumb in the melee.
3. Doug Melvin, Milwaukee Brewers — Scorpion bite (2013)
A guy known for making a fair number of good moves during his tenure as Brewers general manager could easily be just as well-known for making one wrong move during spring training in 2013. Dude got stung by a scorpion. The sting reportedly traveled from Melvin’s middle finger to his shoulder, before he finally went to the hospital. Melvin went to work the following day. You officially have no excuse to miss work now.
4. Jonathan Lucroy, Milwaukee Brewers — Slammed suitcase on hand (2012)
From late May into July of 2012, budding Brewers catcher Jonathan Lucroy’s season was cut short when he sustained a “boxer’s fracture.” However, if memory serves, that boxer’s fracture is actually a suitcase handler’s fracture, as Lucroy missed more than a month when some luggage landed on his hand.
5. Chris Narveson, Milwaukee Brewers — Scissors (2011)
Technically, this can be considered a baseball-related injury, since the Narv-Dog was treating his glove with some scissors when he lacerated his left index finger during what might be his best professional season of his fairly forgettable career. He missed some time and, on account of other injuries, never really caught on with the Brew Crew thereafter (managing just one start in the following two seasons).
6. Zack Greinke, Milwaukee Brewers — Pick-up basketball game (2011)
Shortsighted Brewers fans may look upon the Zack Greinke tenure as a flawless epoch of wonder. Those people forget that the undisputed ace’s Brewers debut was delayed by a month on account of a rib injury he incurred during a pick-up basketball game. Sure, he went undefeated at Miller Park during his near-two-season stint, but he lost 20-plus innings of work due to a nasty case of basketball jones.
7. Jeff Suppan, Milwaukee Brewers — Sleeping on towels (2010)
Unlike Greinke, few fans look upon Jeff Suppan’s four-year, $39.5M deal fondly. During his final season in Milwaukee (and penultimate year in baseball), Soup started the 2010 campaign on the disabled list due to neck stiffness. As it turns out, the middling hurler’s year was shortened when he allegedly used a rolled up towel as a pillow instead of, you know, using a real-ass pillow. Maybe his $12.75M salary in 2010 could’ve covered a decent pillow or, at the very least, some nicer towels.
8. Mo Williams, Milwaukee Bucks — Pubic Symphysitis (2008)
Then-Milwaukee guard Mo Williams was a bright spot on some bleak Bucks teams of the era. That said, he missed limited time in 2008 due to public symphysitis (aka “osteitis pubis”) or “an overuse injury characterized by tissue damage and inflammation to the pelvis at the site where the two pubic bones join, resulting in groin pain.” A pelvis overuse injury? Yeah, we don’t feel sorry for Mo Williams.
9. Matt Wise, Milwaukee Brewers — Salad tongs (2006)
In a rare case of salad being unhealthy, Brewers reliever Matt Wise lost his changeup and a couple days of his 2006 season when he cut his middle finger after some irresponsible salad tong wielding. “At least it was something in my weight class,” Wise said of the incident.
10. Steve Sparks, Milwaukee Brewers — Ripping phone book in half (1994)
After watching musclemen tear Yellow Pages asunder in spring training of 1994, knuckleballer Steve Sparks figured he could repeat the feat. In trying to tear a phone book in half, Sparks dislocated his non-throwing shoulder and didn’t crack the ’94 Brewers roster. No matter, as the season was shortened by a strike.