Daniel Andrews has left hospital and will take six weeks off after fracturing his back in a serious fall.
The 48-year-old Victorian premier narrowly avoided permanent spine damage after slipping on wet stairs at a holiday home on the Mornington Peninsula a week ago.
I landed flat on my back and hit the steps hard directly below the shoulder blades, fracturing at least five ribs and sustaining an acute compression fracture of the T7 vertebra, Andrews said.
These are serious injuries that require me to wear a brace throughout each day except when sleeping. My doctors also want me to get rest and undertake a comprehensive program of physiotherapy.
The Labor leader confirmed he would take leave of absence for six weeks.
The deputy premier, James Merlino, who also holds the education and mental health portfolios, will remain as acting premier in Andrews absence.
Its important that I take this rest and recovery seriously, Andrews said.
As one trauma specialist said to [his wife] Cath and I last week, You very narrowly avoided a life-changing injury, you should buy a TattsLotto ticket, you are very lucky to be here in one piece.
Im not sure about the TattsLotto ticket but Im certain that with rest, continued high quality care and the support of family, friends, colleagues and the Victorian community, Ill be back doing the job I love as soon as possible.
The premier asked that his familys privacy was respected during his time off.
Andrews was initially taken to Peninsula private hospital before being moved to the Alfred trauma centre.
The Alfreds director of trauma services, Prof Mark Fitzgerald, said specialists caring for the premier were pleased with his progress but warned the road to recovery would be a long one.
Andrews has responded well without surgery so far and the work to improve his strength and mobility must now begin, Fitzgerald said.
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.
Fitzgerald said Andrews did not need surgery currently but it could 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.
The Labor frontbencher Jacinta Allan was surprised Andrews was out of hospital.
We can take that as a really positive sign thats good news for him, she said.
It has been really heartening to see the news come through this morning about Daniels recovery. He obviously has a journey ahead but hes recovering strongly.
Well hold the fort in parliament this week while he continues the important focus on his recovery.
Andrews rehabilitation will be done at home.