The Lakers lost another member of their backcourt last week as Blake joins Steve Nash and Jordan Farmar on the sidelines. Blake suffered an injury not commonly seen in basketball when he tore the ulnar collateral ligament (UCL) in his right elbow during a recent practice. The UCL provides support to the medial (inside) portion of the elbow. When torn, it often requires the dreaded Tommy John surgery that has become commonplace in Major League Baseball. Numerous pitchers, including Stephen Strasburg, Adam Wainwright, Matt Harvey and Brian Wilson, have required the surgery and missed substantial amount of time recovering. However, since basketball does not require a repetitive overhead throwing motion, the injury and surgery are rarities in the NBA. In looking through the countless injuries sustained over the last five NBA seasons I was only able to find four injuries diagnosed as UCL sprains, and all four players avoided surgery. Blake is expected to avoid
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