What do salad cream, a pen knife and TV remote have in common? Answer: an injured footballer

Most football injuries occur as a result of an untimely connection between boot and bone. But Mario Balotelli’s grass allergy served as a reminder of bizarre setbacks suffered by other players – with no meaty challenge in sight…

It turns out Manchester City striker Mario Balotelli is allergic to certain types of grass – kind of unfortunate for someone who comes into contact with the green stuff on a regular basis.

But Balotelli isn’t the only player to suffer an unrelated illness or injury away from the pitch.

Salad cream scream

Former Chelsea keeper Dave Beasant severed a tendon in his big toe while trying to bring a jar of salad cream under control in his kitchen. In his defence, at least he got a hand to it.

Endorsing the widely held view all keepers are a Robbie short of a Take That reunion, England trio Chris Woods, David James and David Seaman all came up with bizarre ways of getting out of playing.

Woods inadvertently cut his finger open with a pen knife after trying to cut the cord on his tracksuit bottoms – losing his place in the England side in the process.

While James and Seaman both suffered at the hands of a pesky TV remote (I kid you not).

Plastic predators

James strained his back reaching for the gadget while Seaman missed half a season after suffering knee ligament damage when he stooped to pick up his control.

Believe it or not, Robbie Keane has twice fallen foul of a television remote. The Irishman ruptured knee cartilage early in his career while stretching for the device and several years later injured an ankle after standing on a similar contraption.

Top of the table woe for Rio

Rio Ferdinand also suffered a TV-related problem during his time at Leeds. Resting his foot on a coffee table for several hours while watching telly, he somehow managed to strain a tendon.

Meanwhile, Manchester City’s Jerome Boateng must have thought he was safe from injury as he relaxed on a flight back to the UK from Copenhagen. That was until a careless air stewardess clattered into him with a drinks trolley, aggravating a knee problem.

For most sporting injuries, doctors would recommend bed rest, physio and a daily dose of glucosamine to ease their achy joints. But with the bad luck of these hapless warriors, they’re probably safer on the pitch, than off!

For the full list, see our top 20 weird & wonderful football injuries.

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