10 Athletes Whose Careers Came To A Tragic End After Suffering Concussions (Or Kobe's Worst Nightmare)

Photo: TNT

Kobe Bryant was listed as day-to-day after suffering a concussion on a senseless foul from Dwyane Wade in the All-Star Game.In December, the NBA joined the other pro sports leagues in instituting new rules regarding how quickly a player can return to the court after sustaining a concussion.

Based on the rules, Kobe would have to be symptom free for a full 24 hours before returning, which means he could miss some playing time.

Kobe’s already passed a series of tests and may even play Wednesday against the Minnesota Timberwolves. Seeing as he’s played through countless injuries over his career (knee, hand, wrist, finger, ankle), this is no surprise.

But who’s to say symptoms won’t come back?

Teammates Pau Gasol and Andrew Bynum have already expressed their displeasure with D-Wade’s “out of line” foul. Even if he plays as soon as Wednesday night, they better hope it won’t lead to further complications down the road.

Pat LaFontaine enjoyed a successful 15-year NHL career, but after six concussions he was forced into early retirement in 1998 at the age of 32.

Despite feeling like he still had the talent to be a top-flight NFL signal caller, Steve Young was forced to call it quits in 1999 because of too many blows to the head.

Dallas Cowboys quarterback Troy Aikman had to retire prematurely in 2000 after enduring multiple concussions throughout his 12 years in the NFL.

New York Jets wide receiver Wayne Chrebet enjoyed a productive 11-year career before having to give in to six concussions in 2005.

A long illustrious career began to wind down for Eric Lindros after suffering a vicious hit in the 2000 Stanley Cup Playoffs. Lindros would play for seven more seasons, but was never quite the same.

Matthew Barnaby retired from the NHL and became an analyst for ESPN after suffering a concussion during an in-game fight in 2007.

Jamal Lewis was well on his way up the all-time NFL rushing charts before concussion symptoms ended his run midway through the 2009 season.

Major league catcher Jason LaRue had to retire in 2010 after a concussion he suffered during an on-the-field brawl where he was repeatedly kicked in the head.

Twins first baseman Justin Morneau has been plagued with concussion symptoms for two years now. He hasn't played in more than 81 games a year during that time and admits that if his problems continue he may retire soon.

Sidney Crosby's ascension as the heir to Wayne Gretzky's throne is temporarily, or perhaps forever, on hold. Crosby has only played sparingly since suffering a concussion in January 2011.

Now see the length pro athletes will go to get back on the field...

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