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Victoria Premier Daniel Andrews will take at least six weeks' leave as he recuperates from a near 'life-changing' injury at home after leaving hospital on Monday.
Mr Andrews fractured a vertebra and at least five ribs when he fell on wooden stairs at a holiday rental on the Mornington Peninsula last Tuesday.
"I landed flat on my back and hit the steps hard directly below the shoulder blades," Mr Andrews explained in a statement after leaving hospital on Monday.
"I narrowly avoided permanent damage to my spinal cord.
"One specialist said to Cath and I last week, 'You narrowly avoided a life-changing injury, you should buy a Tattslotto ticket, you are very lucky to be here in one piece'."
Mr Andrews was admitted to intensive care following the fall and was later transferred to the trauma unit at The Alfred Hospital.
He is now facing a "significant" period of rehabilitation, with Acting Premier James Merlino expecting to fill in for Mr Andrews for "some time".
"These are serious injuries that require me to wear a brace each day, except when sleeping," Mr Andrews said on Monday.
"My doctors also want me to get rest and undertake an extensive program of physiotherapy."
Surgery has not been ruled out for the premier
The Alfred's director of trauma services, Mark Fitzgerald, said at this stage Mr Andrews did not need surgery, however could not rule it out.
"As the rehabilitation journey gets underway, we will watch closely for any signs of worsening spinal stability or alignment, as well as the development of other complications," he said in a statement.
"Any deterioration may lead to a need for surgery down the track; however, we are gradually progressing in the right direction at this time."
Mr Andrews will now wear a stabilising brace for his spine.
The premier tweeted his thanks to children currently at the Alfred's Child Care Centre who created artwork and gave them to him along with their well-wishes.
Thanks to the kids from the Alfred Child Care Centre for your beautiful artwork and messages.
They're going straight to the pool room. pic.twitter.com/drbkWiFfN0
— Dan Andrews (@DanielAndrewsMP) March 14, 2021
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