King out of action for 45 days

2012-04-15 14:39

Madrid - Physicians caring for the king of Spain say he is likely to be out of action for 45 days after fracturing his hip during a much-criticised elephant-hunting trip to Africa.

Juan Carlos has come under a barrage of criticism for taking the trip while his country faces financial crisis.

The 74-year-old monarch - recovering in a Madrid hospital from a hip replacement operation - has delegated his duties as head of state to his son, Prince Felipe, while he recuperates.

The accident occurred early on Friday while the king was on safari in the Okavango area of Botswana. He was immediately flown home by private jet.

Angel Villamor, a spokesperson for the medical team caring for him, said he is recovering well.

A royal palace statement said the king is due to begin physiotherapy on Sunday.