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Andrews sent home to begin 'significant' period of rehab


Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews has been discharged from hospital to begin a “significant” period of rehabilitation for a spinal injury at home.

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Andrews suffered broken ribs and a fractured T7 vertebra after slipping on wet stairs at a holiday home on the Mornington Peninsula on March 9.

Doctors at The Alfred hospital’s trauma centre, where the 48-year-old has been recovering, confirmed he was discharged on Monday morning.

The hospital’s director of trauma services Mark Fitzgerald said the team of specialists caring for the premier was pleased with his progress, but warned the road to recovery will be long.

“Mr Andrews has responded well without surgery so far, and the work to improve his strength and mobility must now begin,” Professor Fitzgerald said in a statement.

“As the rehabilitation journey gets under way, we will watch closely for any signs of worsening spinal stability or alignment, as well as the development of other complications.”

Prof Fitzgerald said while Andrews did not need surgery at this time, it may be required at some point.

“Any deterioration may lead to a need for surgery down the track, however we are gradually progressing in the right direction at this time,” he said.

Andrews will be required to wear a back brace to stabilise his spine and receive physiotherapy treatment.

His rehabilitation will be done at home through the hospital’s Better@Home service.

Deputy Premier James Merlino, who also holds the education and mental health portfolios, is acting premier in Mr Andrews’ absence.

“I’ll be acting premier for some time,” he told reporters on Sunday.

AAP spoke to a number of surgeons who said Andrews could be off work for at least six weeks.

If he requires surgery that could increase to three months.

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