SI Vault
 
Winter Blunderland
Rebecca Shore
December 22, 2008
LAST WEEK Avalanche captain Joe Sakic (left) underwent surgery after suffering three broken fingers and tendon damage in his left hand; he is expected to be out for at least three months. The injury didn't happen on the ice but in another frigid situation: Sakic, 39, was trying to clear snow from his snowblower. (You should have seen the snowblower.) The center, who was already on injured reserve with a herniated disk, is not the only athlete to suffer through a winter of discontent.
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December 22, 2008

Winter Blunderland

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LAST WEEK Avalanche captain Joe Sakic (left) underwent surgery after suffering three broken fingers and tendon damage in his left hand; he is expected to be out for at least three months. The injury didn't happen on the ice but in another frigid situation: Sakic, 39, was trying to clear snow from his snowblower. (You should have seen the snowblower.) The center, who was already on injured reserve with a herniated disk, is not the only athlete to suffer through a winter of discontent.

1967: After winning 22 games in the Impossible Dream season, Red Sox pitcher Jim Lonborg (right) injures his knee skiing. Gentleman Jim was never the same; he went 27--29 in the next four seasons before being traded to the Brewers in '72. At 66, however, he does still love to ski.

1993: Rangers defenseman Brian Leetch slips on a patch of ice after exiting a taxi in front of his Manhattan apartment. He breaks his right ankle and misses the last three months of the season.

1993: Toronto's Rickey Henderson develops a nasty case of frostbite—in August. Henderson misses one 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 it on me with no towel. It was on six minutes. I got frostbite. That's a first for me."

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

2004: Shortly after signing a $700,000 deal with the Reds, John Vander Wal wrenches his knee shoveling snow. "It was twist, slip, boom," he says. Cincinnati releases 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: Lakers forward Vladimir Radmanovic separates his shoulder while snowboarding during the All-Star break but tells the team he slipped on ice. Eventually he comes forward with the truth. "My conscience has been bothering me terribly," he says. Unmoved, the Lakers fine him $500,000 for violating his contract.

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