An injury bad enough to threaten, if not outright end, an athlete's career is often as visibly gruesome as its devastating impact on the man or woman's future. However, for every horrific compound fracture or terrifying moment when an athlete lies motionless on the ground, a subtle pop can just as easily spell doom.
Whether it's a blown ACL or series of concussions, the future is murky; and while the athlete, their fans, teammates and family hope for the best, they also prepare for the worst—even if they vow never to discuss it.
That split second when something snaps, dislocates or tears has often denoted the end of a promising future or at least significantly dampened it. But, that's not always the case.
Among the athletes who doubled-down on not being defeated and worked their way back to competing again, there are some stunning, inspiring and...yes...inexplicable recoveries that remind us that the worst-case scenario is never guaranteed.
Here are a few of the best-case scenarios.