5 Year-Old Michael Jordan Nearly Chopped Off His Toe

Published on December 24th, 2022 3:00 pm EST
Written By: Dave Manuel

The story of Michael Jordan and his childhood injury that almost ruined his career. Air Jordan. "Be Like Mike". The flu game. The "shot".

All of this very nearly didn't happen.

The reason?

A freak axe injury that nearly chopped off one of Michael Jordan's toes.


Michael Jordan was 5 years old at the time, and he was goofing around in his backyard.

A young MJ was using an axe to chop some wood while under the watchful eye of his parents.

A rambunctious Jordan was enjoying the task, as his axe passed seamlessly through the pieces of wood.

A second later - disaster.

After one particularly careless swing, Jordan chopped one of his big toes almost clean off.

Blood was spurting everywhere. Jordan's toe hung wildly to one side. A young MJ was screaming louder than he ever had in his life.

Thankfully the Jordan's next door neighbor was a doctor, but things actually got even worse before they got better.

In order to disinfect the massive cut, the neighbor poured alcohol over the toe - or so he thought.

Instead, the canister of "alcohol" actually contained kerosene, which caused the pain to flare up even more.

Jordan was now in pure agony.


After a few more minutes of extreme agony, the pain started to subside and the doctor got the bleeding under control.

The toe would ultimately be saved.


Imagine if Jordan had lost his big toe?

He wouldn't have had the explosion.

He wouldn't have had the "air time".

He probably wouldn't have played in the NBA at all.

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