For obvious bad reasons, they are much part of the game of football. And it is a folly ignoring injuries. You cannot just deny the probability of them, like a habitual thief, striking when least imagined to end a playerâ€™s career and turn a feel-good football moment into one of sorrow.
Sometimes injuries emerge from badly timed late tacklesâ€”intentional or unintentional. In other cases, insufficient warm-ups, poor diet and bumpy pitches can also be the recipe.
In this edition, SportsXtra brings the first version of the purge of injuries that have robbed Malawi of some of its finest players, the severity of the problem, how to mitigate injuries and what domestic team doctors and specialist athletesâ€™ experts have to say on this evil.
Malawi football has lost some blessed footballers due to injuries.
If there are surviving intelligent defenders so elegant with their last-ditch faultless tackles, so good at reading the game, so good at bringing the ball from defence in Malawi, then maybe it could only be a fit Peter Mponda. Maybe Harry Nyirenda may be.
But at the turn of the century, even when there were many of them such as Shilton Zuze, Charles Manda, Patrick Mabedi, Mponda, Aaron Nyasulu and Walter Nyamilandu, there was no need for debate in choosing a classiest defender.
That crown belonged to â€˜punkyâ€™ shaven and slender boy called George Sangala. That was well before his younger brother James knew how to kick the ball at then Telecom Wanderers.
â€œHe is the same reason I pursued a career in football. He obviously opened the door for me,â€ the Flames defender James, who plays for Benfica de Luanda in Angola, recently admitted about his elder brotherâ€™s influence.
For starters, George was one of those teenage players often in the company of senior players, covering up their footballing sins on the pitch with tackling, man-marking intelligence those at Wanderers had, in some years, never seen.
Only Aubrey â€˜Des Walkerâ€™ Vinkhumbo had come close, to what the people in blue were to see in George, in the early 1990s at the Lali Lubani Road.
But just as Georgeâ€™s career seemed to be taking a beautiful shape, all his dreams were shattered in a Confederation of African Football cup game in Lesotho. He suffered an injury that needed lengthy South Africa hospital treatment. And when he came out of the treatment rooms, he never was to recover.
Enter Ziwange Gondwe.
Some eight years ago, there were up-and-coming strikers such as Gerald Williams, Gift Makoloni, Noel Mkandawire, Jimmy Zakazaka, Grant Lungu and Mapopa Msukwa in the Super League.
But whenever Gondwe was on fire, whether playing for Silver Strikers, Escom United or the junior Flames, none of the attackers could come close to his forceful finesse in front of the goal. He just banged them in as if possessed.
But Gondwe never saw the flower of his football dream boom as an injury purge hit him so hard at a tender age. Escom and the Malawi Under-20 national teams were the biggest and immediate losers.
Then that unforgettable July 6 2004 return game between the Flames and Swaziland at Kamuzu Stadium.
Maxwell Chirwa has never been the same flying winger since suffering that bone-crunching tackle by a Swazi defender. The tackle left him in a heap of pain and with it, his MTL Wanderers and Flamesâ€™ dream was shattered.
Chirwaâ€™s football class was well above average. It was his two goals in mauling of South Africaâ€™s Amajita that sealed Malawi Under-20â€™s first qualification to the Africa Youth Championship in Ghana in 1999.
Chirwa shone in a hugely talented Malawi junior side that had the likes of James Kaniche, Fischer Kondowe, Aaron Nyasulu, Patrick Mangani, Fazili Mbundi, Allan Kamanga, Maupo Msowoya, Kachibowo Malunga, Chikondi Banda, Andrew Chikhosi, Allen Kusapali and Simeon Kapuza.
And just last year, Wanderers, too, lost a gem whose career is now in limbo. Lawson Chilewe was a promising striker for Malawi Under-20 and Wanderers, but a recurring knee injury has compromised hugely his career.
â€œI twisted my knee last season during a training session for a Presidential Cup game. I was supposed to go for surgery, but doctors advised me to wait a bit. Now, they say I do not need to go through the knife and I hope to be back,â€ said Chilewe who suffered the injury while training in Mulanje.
The situation on domestic football injuries looks scary. But experts say with some investment in sports medicine, some of the injuries can be prevented. SportsXtra will, next week, talk to the experts and get the picture of the injuries through statistics.