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Five bizarre footballer injuries

Sports Mole takes a closer look at five footballers that have spent time on the sidelines because of freakish injuries.

Yesterday, world number one Rory McIlroy confirmed that he would not be fit enough to defend his title at The Open next week.

The reason for the 26-year-old's withdrawal is that he recently ruptured his ankle ligaments during a game of football with his friends.

Such unfortunate circumstances got Sports Mole to think about other bizarre injuries and here, we have picked out five footballers that had a spell on the sidelines because of freakish incidents.

1. Leroy Lita

Leroy Lita of Sheffield Wednesday in action during the npower Championship match between Sheffield Wednesday and Middlesbrough at Hillsborough on May 4, 2013© Getty Images

As the start of the 2007-08 Premier League season approached, Reading's plans were hit by the news that striker Lita would be out for a number of weeks with a leg injury. However, he didn't suffer the problem in training or during a pre-season friendly - he was simply stretching out in bed.

Manager Steve Coppell said: "It's a point of laughter but a serious business for him because he's going to be out for three or four weeks."

2. Darren Barnard

Darren Barnard of Barnsley reaches the ball ahead of Shaun Newton of Wolverhampton Wanderers during the Nationwide League Division One match played at Molineux on November 27, 2001© Getty Images

They say that dogs are a man's best friend, but it's highly unlikely that Barnard will agree with that notion. The former Chelsea and Barnsley midfielder was ruled out for five months with knee ligament damage after he had slipped on a pool of his puppy's wee on the kitchen floor.

3. Dave Beasant

Goalkeeping coach Dave Beasant of Fulham during the Brighton and Hove Albion v Fulham pre-season friendly at the Withdean Stadium on July 20, 2007© Getty Images

Start to type the name Dave Beasant into Google and you will soon be presented with the phrase 'salad cream'. That is because back in 1993, the goalkeeper dropped a bottle of the condiment. However, rather than let it hit the floor, he instead stuck out his leg to break the fall.

The result was a smashed jar all over his foot, which resulted in a severed tendon in his big toe. Consequently, the Chelsea keeper had to spend a number of weeks out of action.

4. Darius Vassell

Darius Vassell of Manchester City celebrates scoring the second goal during the Barclays Premier League match between Sunderland and Manchester City at The Stadium of Light on April 12, 2008© Getty Images

It's often said of footballers that they are not the brightest bunch, and Vassell did little to alter that school of thought in 2002. Suffering with a blister on his toe, the Aston Villa striker attempted to drain some of the blood by using a drill.

He only succeeded in drilling through his toenail, which later became infected. At that point, the centre-forward was forced to seek medical help and ended up missing four matches while he recovered.

5. Alex Stepney

Alex Stepney of Manchester City during the pre-season friendly match against Bury City played in bury, England on July 17, 1999© Getty Images

At least this injury happened on the pitch, although that does not make it any less embarrassing. In a match against Birmingham City back in 1975, Manchester United goalkeeper Alex Stepney was particularly unhappy with the performance of the defenders in front of him. He shouted so much that he suffered a dislocated jaw and had to be replaced between the posts by defender Brian Greenhoff.

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