In Depth

Jonny Sexton joins the list of stars who played through the pain

The Lions fly-half isn't the first to keep on going even with an injury

British and Irish Lions fly-half Jonny Sexton reportedly played the final Test against the All Blacks in New Zealand with a broken arm.

According to the Irish Independent, he went into the game "with a fractured wrist, suffered in the second Test win in Wellington, before rupturing a tendon in his ankle during the opening half of the decider in Auckland".

The Leinster star was a key figure in the draw and was praised for his bravery. His broken bone was not discovered until after the third Test ended in a thrilling 15-all draw.

Wrist and ankle problems weren't the only issues Sexton had to contend with at Eden Park.

The Daily Telegraph says that "despite also needing to undergo a second-half head injury assessment, Sexton played on until the final seven minutes when he was permanently replaced by Ben Te'o".

The player's bravery is clearly not in question, but he is not the first to play through the pain barrier.

Bert Trautmann

The Manchester City keeper became the yardstick for sporting bravery when he played the final 17 minutes of the 1956 FA Cup final with a broken neck. 

City were beating Birmingham 3-1 when the German dived at the feet of forward Peter Murphy. He was knocked out by the player's knee and it was later discovered he had broken his neck.

Nevertheless, he played on and helped City lift the trophy.

Tiger Woods

Woods was clearly in pain during the  final round at Torrey Pines in 2008 but he forced a play-off against Rocco Mediate and eventually won in sudden death, scoring the last of his 14 Major titles. 

It was later revealed that he had played despite having torn the anterior cruciate ligament of his left knee and sustaining a double stress fracture in his left tibia, injuries which kept him out for eight months.

Stuart Pearce and Cesc Fabregas

England legend Pearce had the nickname "Psycho" for a reason and the tough-nut defender proved why playing for West Ham against Watford in 1999. 

A broken leg in the first half couldn't stop him playing - and he even refused to take his boots off at half-time in an attempt to keep going, much to the bemusement of manager Harry Redknapp.

A special mention should also go to Fabregas of Arsenal, who also didn't let a broken leg stop him helping the Gunners back from 2-0 down against Barcelona in the Champions League in 2010. He won and converted a penalty in the dying moments to make it 2-2.

Paul Wood

Rugby league is not a game for the faint-hearted or the squeamish, as anyone familiar with the tale of Warrington Wolves prop forward Wood will know. 

He played on in the 2012 Super League Grand Final against Leeds after rupturing a testicle in a tackle. By the time the game finished, the offending organ was reportedly "the size of a tennis ball" - but Wood still gave TV interviews before being taken to hospital to have it surgically removed.

Chris Simms

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback came in for some serious punishment during his side's 2006 match against the Carolina Panthers and was forced off after one particularly big hit.

However, with defeat looming he rejoined the fray and led the Buccs on a scoring drive. It was not enough, however, and things got worse for Simms when it was discovered he had ruptured his spleen. He lost five pints of blood during emergency surgery.

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