A career need not be paid nor need it be successful in order to be called out as such.
The OED defines it as:
a. A person's course or progress through life (or a distinct portion of life), esp. when publicly conspicuous, or abounding in remarkable incidents: similarly with reference to a nation, a political party, etc.
One can have a distinguished career as a lepidopterist even if it were strictly a hobby. Developing an allergy to butterflies or speaking out against Miss Marple would both be "career ending" or "career limiting" moves, even if one never was paid for it.
One speaks of an academic career beginning in kindergarten - not once one has begun teaching for a living, for example.
As such, it is perfectly correct to say even a fat old amateur cricketer like myself can in fact have a career ending injury."