At Christmas time, it is almost a tradition in the UK to attempt a sickie or two here and there.
And for footballers, the winter period becomes all the more tricky to get time off as the fixture list piles up.
Sometimes suspension comes as a welcome blessing for players, while muscle injuries are often suffered as a result of fatigue.
Being overworked can happen in any industry, and excuses to get time off have to become more and more obscure. You can’t get away with “my dog ate my homework” at 32.
But what about the times when you genuinely can’t work, or play for footballers, and it sounds like the boy who cried wolf?
Many footballers have had to sit games out for the most bizarre, and often hilarious, reasons you could think of.
Daily Star Sport has the best excuses from years gone by, including drilling a blister and burning a nipple.
Bryan Robson (1990) – dropping bed
Ex-England captain Bryan Robson had to try get team-mate Paul Gascoigne out of bed prior to the 1990 World Cup.
After picking it up to tip Gazza out, the United icon dropped the bed on his toe and subsequently broke it. Wonder how he explained that to Sir Bobby Robson?
Dave Beasant (1993) – salad cream
The iconic goalkeeper should have stuck to using his hands, especially when in the kitchen.
Ex-Chelsea shot-stopper Beasant once dropped a bottle of salad cream and tried to control it with his barefoot, but instead tore a tendon in his big toe and put himself out for two months.
David Batty (1999) – daughter’s tricycle
Ex-England tough-tackler David Batty had the biggest challenge of his career come from his three-year-old daughter.
She piled her tricycle into Batty’s leg while he was recovering from an ankle ligament injury, and the crash damaged his Achilles tendon, sidelining him for an extra few weeks. Who’d be a dad?
Darren Barnard (1999) – dog urine
Ex-Chelsea player Darren Barnard incredibly tore his knee ligaments after slipping on his dog’s urine in the kitchen.
Not only was that bad enough, but the injury kept him from featuring for Barnsley for five whole months.
Rio Ferdinand (2001) – Pro Evo
At Leeds, Rio Ferdinand was minding his own business, enjoying his free time by playing Pro Evolution Soccer on his PlayStation.
But he managed to strain a tendon in his knee, having rested his leg on the coffee table for an hour or two too long.
Santiago Canizares (2002) – aftershave bottle
The Spain goalkeeper was finally all set to be No.1 at the 2002 World Cup in South Korea and Japan.
But Canizares disastrously dropped an aftershave bottle in the build-up to the tournament, severing the tendon in his toe, resulting in Iker Casillas taking his spot and making it his own for more than a decade.
Darius Vassell (2002) – drilling blister
Aston Villa must have called bull**** on this one from England striker Vassell – nobody could be that silly.
Claims were made that he tried to remove a blood blister on his toe with a drill. But Vassell has since played down the incident, revealing: “I attempted some DIY. It wasn't with a Black and Decker drill as has been described on the internet.
"When you've got blood under the nail, you need to get into that to relieve the pressure. Unfortunately, with me, anything that was touching that nail was excruciating so I attempted to do it myself at home, but I couldn't do it because just touching the nail was painful."
Kevin Kyle (2006) – burnt crotch
During his time at Sunderland, Kyle ended up in hospital thanks to his eight-month-old son.
He had kicked a bowl of boiling water onto his dad’s private parts.
Leroy Lita (2007) – stretching in bed
As lame as it gets, Lita managed to injure himself by simply stretching in bed. We reckon he simply didn’t want to get out of it.
Yet Reading manager Steve Coppell at the time said: "Leroy is in a great deal of pain. It is not an injury that should be ridiculed or made light of."
Adam Chapman (2012) – burnt nipple
During a loan spell at Mansfield, the midfielder somehow burned his nipple with baby milk.
Then manager Chris Wilder, now of Sheffield United, said: "Adam Chapman, like this good dad he is, was making his baby some milk and he managed to shake the bottle up and down, but he didn't put the lid back on properly. He burnt his chest and had to go to hospital for a check-up. He’s burnt all his nipple."
Marco Asensio (2017) – infected pimple
Real Madrid playmaker Marco Asensio is our most recent inclusion on the list and missed a Champions League game due to an infection in a pimple which was reportedly caused by epilating the hairs on his legs.
Even Zinedine Zidane did not save Asensio from embarrassment as he confirmed the reason for his absence was “a pimple… which stopped him pulling up his socks”.
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