The Greatest Injury Comebacks in Sports History

Athletes pride themselves on overcoming adversity, and one form of adversity that nearly all professional athletes encounter at some point is injury. Some injuries can be easily overcome through personal therapy and rest, but some are so bad that surgery and extensive time away from the game are required. Some athletes shocked the world by simply coming back from their injuries: these are three of the most impressive injury comebacks ever.

Peyton Manning

Perennial All-Pro quarterback Peyton Manning had enjoyed the type of career most quarterbacks can’t even imagine: 227 consecutive starts, 4 MVP awards, and a Super Bowl ring. However, a sudden neck injury threatened to not only derail, but end the quarterback’s career. At the age of 35, few expected him to be able to come back from the injury at all, let alone break NFL passing records when he returned. However, that’s exactly what happened. His recovery from spinal fusion surgery is one of the great injury comeback stories in NFL history, and credits physical therapist Greg Roskopf for helping him come back from the injury with a technique called MAT, or muscle activation technique.

Chris Carpenter

One of the best pitchers of his generation when he was healthy, former Cardinal Chris Carpenter suffered injury after injury during his playing career. He was injured so much that he won three major Comeback Player of the Year awards in three different years. Two major shoulder injuries were the culprits, and although his career was eventually ended by injury, he was able to work through his numerous shoulder injuries well enough to win a Cy Young Award in 2005 and two World Series rings with the Cardinals.

Mario Lemieux

Pittsburgh Penguins legend Mario Lemieux was known as “Super Mario” due to his heroics on the rink. However, the world was shocked when he announced that his next opponent would be  the most fearsome of his career: cancer. Even before Lemieux was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma, his back was threatening to sideline him, making his comeback from both truly amazing. Lemieux beat cancer and his bad back to win a 2002 Olympic Gold Medal and 2 Hart Memorial Trophies to add to his 2 Stanley Cup Championships.

Ready to start your comeback from a sports injury? The first step is to contact Baxter and Walsh Physical Therapy for an appointment. They specialize in helping you bounce back from injuries and conditions of all kinds and have two friendly locations in Bay Shore, NY and Wantagh, NY to better serve you. Call us at 631-206-2989 (Bay Shore) or 516-826-0016 (Wantagh) today.