Sports-related injuries are unavoidable on a baseball movie, but Matthew Lillard — that slash-happy, rubberfaced fiend from Scream and Serial Mom — feels lucky to have survived the filming of Summer Catch (opening Friday).

After buddy Freddie Prinze Jr. helped him get cast, the boyish 31-year-old actor showed up on Catch's North Carolina set suffering from severe headaches. "There was literally nothing I could take — I thought it was sinuses," he tells TV Guide Online. "I called my wife and told her I was dying."

Turns out, he really wasn't exaggerating: Doctors discerned that the actor's pain was caused by spinal-cord fluid leaking into his brain. Once this potentially life-threatening ailment was corrected, the poor man returned to work, only to be plagued by yet another problem in his... southern extremities, shall we say.

While filming one scene where he slides into home base, Lillard's protective jock cup didn't provide very substantial protection. The painful shot — and the genuine agony on the actor's face — made it into the final cut. Unfortunately, as Lillard tells it: "I ruptured my testicular sac. I woke up the next morning and half of my sac was black... and it was terrifying."

In the E.R., his famous face only added to his already considerable discomfort. He recalls: "There were 10 girls [who worked there] running around going, 'You're the guy from Scream! What's the problem?' I told them, 'I have a black sac and I'd like to see a doctor.'" A female doctor attended to an embarrassed Lillard, but wasn't immediately sure how to, er, handle his situation. "So," he groans, "she brings in three more people to check out my junk while all these girls are trying to look in."

Mercifully, Lillard fully recovered in time to reteam with Prinze to film Scooby-Doo in Australia. But he says he won't be revisiting America's fave pastime anytime soon: "Would you?"