Pranks involving spears are, we feel it is safe to say, probably best avoided, and it should be no surprise that when they are not, accidents might happen and personal injury might result.
Still, you have to feel for St Mirren captain Steven Thompson who this week had to apologise to teammate and Scotland Under-21 midfielder John McGinn after causing him personal injury when he impaled him with a spiked pole during a club training exercise.
Such japes are not uncommon in sports team training sessions – where adrenalin and testosterone is flooding through the system, camaraderie is high and pranks become a way of expressing these things. The problem is, of course, that tomfoolery can quickly become an unhealthy expression of these things – and there can be little doubt that any prank involving the tossing of a spear is unlikely to be a good idea.
Unfortunately for McGinn, it seems his personal injury, a deep wound and torn muscle, is likely to end his season. It may also play a role in how he decides his future; his contract is up this summer and with his star on the rise, he may find it a little bit harder to be convinced by his 36-year-old captain of the value of extending his stay at St Mirren.
Thompson clearly, and understandably, feels pretty rueful about the incident. "I've been shocked by it, to be honest, really down about it," he said. "I like a laugh and a joke in training, but for something like this to happen is just unbelievable.
"The pole went about a centimetre into his leg and he's obviously got quite a bad injury. The word seems to be he'll be out for around three weeks.
"I'm just mortified by the whole thing. It was a daft prank. It wasn't like I threw the pole out of anger or anything like that. That's not what happened."
He added, "I threw it for a laugh, stupid me trying to be funny, and unfortunately it's anything but. It's a total disaster."
It is unlikely that McGinn will be instructing personal injury solicitors to help him claim for his rather unusual sporting accident, but, had the injury been that much worse and ended his career, there's a fair chance he might have done. It just goes to show, pranks in the workplace, whether throwing things "for a laugh" or moving a workmate's chair can, result in unwanted consequences.
If you would like to consider your possible right to compensation following an accident in Scotland, click here for more information from Thompsons - Scotland's leading personal injury solicitors.