WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama took an elbow in the mouth while he was playing basketball Friday and had to have 12 stitches to close the wound, the White House announced.
Obama received the stitches at the White House after returning from the game with personal aide Reggie Love and family members. He was given a local anesthetic and didn't lose consciousness.
"After being inadvertently hit with an opposing player's elbow in the lip while playing basketball with friends and family, the president received 12 stitches today administered by the White House Medical Unit," White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs said in a statement.
"They were done in the doctor's office located on the ground floor of the White House."
Gibbs said the medical unit used a small filament and tighter, more numerous stitches in an effort to minimize scarring.
Obama had gone to Fort McNair to play basketball at 9:30 a.m., with enough family members in town to field two full five-person teams.
The White House didn't release any names beyond Love, who played for Duke University and plays frequently with the president. One of Obama's favorite White House photographs is of him blocking a shot by Love.
The group left Fort McNair at 11:15 a.m. and arrived back at the White House 10 minutes later, without any announcement that the president had been injured and needed medical attention.
Gibbs didn't announce the stitches until 2:23 p.m.
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