Injuries are difficult to avoid in sports and some athletes are never the same after serious injuries. But there have been a few athletes who have looked as good or even better than before their career threatening injuries. Here are seven athletes who made impressive comebacks after suffering a serious injury:
In 2011, Adrian Peterson tore the ACL and MCL in his left knee. The injury left him out for the rest of the season and many fans wondered if he would ever be as good as he was before the injury. But less than a year after the injury, Peterson made his return in the first game of the season. He immediately showed that he was still an elite player and went on to rush for more than 2,000 yards. He also had 12 touchdowns and a Pro Bowl selection. Peterson is now with the New Orleans Saints, where he will probably be an important part of the offense.
In 2006, Petr Cech suffered a skull fracture in a game against Reading. The serious injury left him out for the season but Cech returned and continued being the star goalkeeper for Chelsea. Cech joined Arsenal a few years ago and said during an interview last year that the recovery was the biggest challenge of his career.
Paul George suffered a serious injury while playing in a game for the US national basketball team. The gruesome injury came at a time when George and the Indiana Pacers were one of the toughest teams in the Eastern Conference. Fans wondered if he would ever be the same after the injury but George has shown that he is still a star. George was recently traded to the Oklahoma City Thunder but he will be a free agent after the season. The Lakers and a few other teams will likely look to sign the star player.
In 2011, Peyton Manning was out for the season after multiple neck surgeries. The Colts had a really bad season but ended with a good first round pick, which they used to draft Andrew Luck. The team decided to release Manning shortly after but other teams were interested in signing the star quarterback. There were questions from the media and fans on if Manning would ever be as good as he was with the Colts. The Denver Broncos signed him and it turned out to be a good decision. Manning set records with the Broncos in one season, throwing for 55 touchdowns. He also led the team to two Super Bowls, winning one against the Panthers.
In 2009, Massa suffered a life threatening injury when a spring hit him in the head during a qualifying race. The hit was so hard that it left him unsconscious and with a skull fracture. Massa recovered and returned to F1, where he currently drives for Williams.
In 2008, Tom Brady suffered ACL and MCL tears in the first game of the season against the Kansas City Chiefs. The injury left him out for the season but since then, Brady has been as good or even better than before, winning a few more Super Bowls. The Patriots are actually the current champions and look like the early favorites after signing and trading for more stars.
In the last game of the 2005 season, Brees suffered a career threatening shoulder injury. It was his last game as a San Diego Charger but the Saints decided to give him a huge deal, despite the serious shoulder injury. Signing Brees turned out to be a really good decision. Brees has led the team to a Super Bowl win and several playoff appearances since 2006. In 2016, he signed a five year contract extension to remain with the team for the rest of his career.