ACL knee injuries require surgery and nine months recovery.
Troy Garton bravely fought two matches at the Commonwealth Games after tearing hers, still managing to secure an emotional bronze medal.
Boxing is a sport that requires swift evasive action and sharp movement.
Much of that comes from the knees and feet.
Garton put on a brilliant performance in her quarterfinal on Wednesday, overcoming a significant height and reach disadvantage to keep walking forward and land heavy blows on Botswana's Aratwa Kasemang.
On Friday she couldn't repeat those efforts in her semifinal against Australia's Swedish-born Anja Stridsman, struggling to get inside and losing by unanimous decision.
Given the circumstances, though, securing New Zealand's second boxing bronze at these Games is a remarkable feat.
Until now Garton's injury was kept under wraps.
Speaking to the Herald after her semifinal, she revealed just how limited her movement has been and her pride at pushing through the pain barrier.
"I injured myself before the Games so I've done quite well. I've actually got a completely torn ACL on my right leg so I can't do some movements. It's been a tough week," she said, tears welling up as the achievement began to hit home.
"I couldn't walk in the opening ceremony which was gutting but that's just part of it and I got to this stage.
"We had a certain game-plan to go straight ahead because any side lateral movements hurt. It's already completely torn so I couldn't do anything worse but it meant the pain was there so I had to just stay in front of her punches. I knew it was going to be dangerous but I kept my guard up as best I could.
"I'm happy. Surgery and then I'll be back to it."
Emerging from retirement for these Games, Alexis Pritchard was satisfied to walk away with bronze after finishing ninth in Glasgow and fifth at the 2012 London Olympics.
Pritchard lost her 57kg semifinal to Northern Ireland's Michaela Walsh on split decision but after two wins to get to that point, the 34-year-old veteran will treasure her first Games medal.
"Last time in Glasgow I underperformed. I walked out of the ring having huge regrets about what I didn't do. This time it was small technical things that didn't go my way," Pritchard said, pushing to the side any thoughts of hanging up the gloves for now.
"It was quite a messy fight I always knew it would be. She did what she needed to. Tonight my feet were a bit too slow and maybe I could've chosen a few better options with my angles but overall I'm really proud of what I've done at this tournament."