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Winter Blunderland

Dec. 22, 2008
Dec. 22, 2008

Table of Contents
Dec. 22, 2008

SI Players: LIFE ON AND OFF THE FIELD
PRO FOOTBALL
BASEBALL
PRO BASKETBALL
HOCKEY
THE YEAR IN MEDIA
Inside
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Winter Blunderland

LAST WEEKAvalanche captain Joe Sakic (left) underwent surgery after suffering threebroken fingers and tendon damage in his left hand; he is expected to be out forat least three months. The injury didn't happen on the ice but in anotherfrigid situation: Sakic, 39, was trying to clear snow from his snowblower. (Youshould have seen the snowblower.) The center, who was already on injuredreserve with a herniated disk, is not the only athlete to suffer through awinter of discontent.

This is an article from the Dec. 22, 2008 issue

1967: Afterwinning 22 games in the Impossible Dream season, Red Sox pitcher Jim Lonborg(right) injures his knee skiing. Gentleman Jim was never the same; he went27--29 in the next four seasons before being traded to the Brewers in '72. At66, however, he does still love to ski.

1993: Rangersdefenseman Brian Leetch slips on a patch of ice after exiting a taxi in frontof his Manhattan apartment. He breaks his right ankle and misses the last threemonths of the season.

1993: Toronto'sRickey Henderson develops a nasty case of frostbite—in August. Henderson missesone game after over-icing a strained foot. Says the alltime stolen-base leader,"They had this blue ice they kept frozen for six or seven years and put iton me with no towel. It was on six minutes. I got frostbite. That's a first forme."

1994: In the midstof an 0--12 February, Celtics center Robert Parish (right) misses two gamesafter hurting his back shoveling snow. "Even if I was a regular person, I'dhave someone shovel for me," says teammate Dee Brown. "With all thatmoney he makes, he should find someone to do it. But I guess that's why he hasthat money still."

2004: Shortlyafter signing a $700,000 deal with the Reds, John Vander Wal wrenches his kneeshoveling snow. "It was twist, slip, boom," he says. Cincinnatireleases him and re-signs him to a minor league deal, but Vander Wal hits just.118 in what turns out to be the final season of his career.

2007: Lakersforward Vladimir Radmanovic separates his shoulder while snowboarding duringthe All-Star break but tells the team he slipped on ice. Eventually he comesforward with the truth. "My conscience has been bothering me terribly,"he says. Unmoved, the Lakers fine him $500,000 for violating his contract.

PHOTODAVID ZALUBOWSKI/AP (SAKIC)PHOTOWALTER IOOSS JR. (LONBORG)PHOTODICK RAPHAEL/NBAE/GETTY IMAGES (PARISH)