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Obama needs stitches to mouth after basketball game

US president Barack Obama received stitches to his mouth last night after being accidentally struck by an elbow in a pick-up basketball game.

The president was treated in the doctor's office of the White House following the game.

Later, Mr Obama was seen through a White House window holding a compress to his lip.

“The president received 12 stitches today, administered by the White House Medical Unit,” White House spokesman Robert Gibbs said in a statement.

Mr Obama was given a local anaesthetic while receiving the stitches, he added.

“The medical unit that treated Obama used a smaller filament than typically used, which increases the number of stitches but makes a tighter stitch and results in a smaller scar,” added Mr Gibbs.

Mr Obama was playing basketball with friends at Fort McNair, Washington DC.

He has even been seen to take to the court with Cabinet members.

It is believed the president was taking advantage of a lull in the political cycle during Thanksgiving weekend in the US.

Obama's injury follows a long line of presidential sporting mishaps.

They include multiple falls and scrapes by George Bush while mountain biking, Jimmy Carter appearing to pass out during a road race, and Warren Harding receiving a paper cut from a new pack of cards during a poker session.

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