Bailey Johnson’s split forehead and stitches

How It Happened

I was playing in a spring tournament in Wayne, NE and it was the very first game of a two-day tournament. We were playing and I made a tackle early in the game. As I was coming from the ground the opposing players cleat sliced my eye open on the hairline of my brow. My entire face went numb instantly. I was rolling up from the ground not really realizing what had happened.

I thought I broke my nose at first, all I could see was blood and I couldn’t feel anything. I sat there with blood everywhere, and had to go to the trainer immediately. Aside from the physical pain, I was having an anxiety attack too. This was my first major injury from rugby in 7 years. If that cleat had been any lower, who knows what could have happened to my actual eyeball.

bailey johnson


Position: 8 Man
Club: Minnesota State
Injury: Split Forehead

At Hospital

I later realized that I cut my face open and had to go to the hospital to get stitches. 8 inside, 7 outside. It was funny, because 20 minutes later I could hear a teammate walking into the hospital, and she had dislocated her shoulder right after my injury. I thought she was just stopping to check in on me, but we both went down that morning.


I got back to the field with a massive black eye, but I wasn’t going to let the injury slow me down. So I wrapped my head up and kept playing in the tournament. I had a black eye and was swollen the rest of that week. Definitely a cool injury, and my head is still sensitive to feeling. I couldn’t feel normal things, like brushing my hair or touch for months. It was the weirdest experience i’ve ever had, i’m sure I severed some nerves from that injury.


My recovery meant no playing rugby until I could 1, see again, but 2) also to make sure that I didn’t have any head injuries. I probably wouldn’t have continued to play that day, now that I look back on it, just because I could have popped a stitch at any time, but I was definitely too determined to get back on the field that day. Overall, this was the coolest injury that I have had to date, other than a sprained plantar fascia and and a cracked tibia all within two months.

By Bailey Johnson

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