WARNING: GRAPHIC CONTENT

Mitchell Johnson was used to giving the world's leading batsmen a headache or two in his time on the field, but he gave himself one this week after a bizarre training accident.

The former Australia fast bowler showed off the result of a clash with a chin-up bar, as he shared his gruesome injury on Instagram.

The 36-year-old needed 16 stitches in his scalp after the bar left him with a nasty gash.

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He posted before and after pictures on his Instagram account, showing off the nurse's handy work.

Johnson added the caption: "If you don't like blood & cuts then don't look through these pics! Not the best thing I've ever done to myself but I'm fine #toohardtoexplain #dontfightchinupbar #stilldontknowhowitspossible #18.3grrrrr #baldspot."

Mitchell Johnson's head gash is the stuff of nightmares. Photo / Instagram
Mitchell Johnson's head gash is the stuff of nightmares. Photo / Instagram

All seemed well though, as he was able to produce a smile and a thumbs up after his treatment went well.

Johnson, who played his last test for Australia in 2015, was once the scourge of the England side in particular.

He was tormentor in chief as Australia won the 2013-14 Ashes series with a 5-0 whitewash Down Under.

Johnson took 37 wickets as they made quick amends for their defeat in England the previous summer.

The left-arm quick still features regularly in the shortest format - having played for the Perth Scorchers in last month's Big Bash League.