HEALTH OF THE KING

King Juan Carlos “in good spirits” after latest hip surgery

Monarch will have to go under the knife again within two months to fit a permanent replacement joint

King Juan Carlos is “stable, comfortable and in good spirits” after undergoing surgery to treat an infection around a prosthetic left hip at the private Quirón University Hospital in Madrid on Tuesday.

Reading from a statement at midday Wednesday, hospital manager Lucía Alonso explained that the monarch’s recovery had so far been “highly satisfactory.”

A short while after, at the entrance to the hospital, Prince Felipe said his father had had “a good night, is in high spirits and looking forward to getting on his feet when the doctors allow.”

On Tuesday night, the surgeon who headed up the operation team, Miguel Cabanela, explained the king would need another operation within two months as, upon seeing the infection in the operating room, he decided to first fit a provisional prosthesis coated in antibiotics. The final one will be fitted within two months, meaning the king will not be able to walk without crutches for three and a half months.

Cabanela also explained that King Juan Carlos, who is expected to remain in hospital for another four to six days, would need six weeks of intravenous antibiotic therapy following the surgery. During this time, his agenda would be “limited,” he noted, meaning the king will miss the Iberoamerican Summit in Panama on October 18 and 19, as well as the celebrations to mark Spain’s National Day on October 12.

No plans for heir statute

Meanwhile in New York, Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy on Wednesday played down speculation that the government was considering a law to clarify Prince Felipe’s role due to concerns over the monarch’s fragile health.

The Popular Party leader, who was due to address the United Nations General Assembly later in the day, said his government had “absolutely” no intention of passing a statute to legally regulate the prince's executive powers.

His words contrasted with those of Foreign Minister José Manuel García-Margallo, who just hours before had said he thought the idea was a “good initiative” that would “fill a gap that ought to have been filled before.”

García-Margallo, who is also in New York, added that he did not foresee any difficulty in reaching an agreement on the matter with the opposition Socialist Party, which came up with the proposal.

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