Jenni Carlson asses the trade A closer look at turf toe Turf toe is a condition that involves the hyperextension, spraining or tearing of ligaments in the big toe. The condition is common in athletes, particularly those who have played sports on hard, artificial surfaces. NBA players, such as Hornets center Tyson Chandler, are not immune to turf toe. The painful condition can be bad enough to sideline athletes for weeks — if not end their career. Multi-sport star Deion Sanders suffered a career-ending case of turf toe. Pro Football Hall of Fame linebacker Jack Lambert retired because of turf toe, suffered when he was tackling locomotive running back Earl Campbell. Oakland Raiders running back Darren McFadden has battled turf toe on the right foot and left foot at the same time. According to ESPN.com, Chandler was bothered by turf toe in last season’s playoffs. Chandler told the Web site on Wednesday that Dr. Carlan Yates, the Thunder’s team physician, informed the 7-foot-1 center: "I have no doubt you can play on it. I’m just saying it could take a turn for the worse if you come down on somebody’s foot or hyperextended it or something.” That was a risk the Thunder apparently didn’t want to take.