Bicycle injuries keep Colorado governor in hospital |

Bicycle injuries keep Colorado governor in hospital

Associated Press Writer

DENVER (AP) – Doctors say Gov. Bill Ritter will stay in the hospital for three or four days recovering from broken ribs and a separated shoulder he suffered in a bicycle wreck.

Doctors said he can return to work as soon as he’s released from the hospital if he’s up to it.

Dr. Carlton Barnett, Ritter’s surgeon, said Wednesday the governor suffered six broken ribs and a separated shoulder Tuesday when he ran into another cyclist and tumbled from his bike.

He said the governor is in fair condition at Denver Health Medical Center and will stay there for three or four days to make sure he takes his pain medication and to prevent possible complications, including pneumonia.

The governor is also undergoing rehabilitation, including breathing exercises.

Ritter was one of five bicyclists about 2 1/2 miles north of the governor’s mansion shortly after 6 a.m. Tuesday when his wheel hit the wheel of a man in front of him. The other cyclist had a minor wrist injury and wasn’t hospitalized, according to Ritter’s spokesman, Evan Dreyer. Dreyer said the cyclists were going about 15 mph at the time.

None of the other cyclists were identified.

Dreyer said Ritter was still in charge of the state, but it wasn’t clear when the governor would be able to return to work. Dreyer said several appointments were turned over Lt. Gov. Barbara O’Brien, including reading to fourth-graders for the national Read Across America Day.

Kalee Tilli, a Denver paramedic who took Ritter to the hospital in an ambulance, said the governor was sitting on the sidewalk when help arrived, talking with the other cyclists about the accident.

“He was clearly in a lot of pain,” she said.

Barnett said Ritter should be well enough to throw out the first pitch on opening day April 9 if the Colorado Rockies invite him.

“He might have to move up closer to home plate,” Barnett said.

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