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Ballesteros serious but stable after third operat

Posted on: October 25, 2008 9:44 am
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Spanish golf legend Seve Ballesteros was described as being in a stable condition Saturday after undergoing a third, successful operation to ease swelling in his brain and remove the remains of a tumour.

The La Paz hospital in Madrid which has been treating Ballesteros said he would remain in care for several days.

"He is in a serious but stable condition at the intensive care unit where he will remain for the next few days," a hospital spokesperson told AFP.

The hospital added that no further statements would be made during the weekend or Monday "unless there is a change in his condition".

Ballesteros, who collected 87 titles before knee and back problems forced him to retire last year, was taken to La Paz Hospital on October 6 after he collapsed and briefly lost consciousness at Madrid airport.

He underwent surgery on October 14 to remove the brain tumour. Two days later, he underwent a second operation to ease a build-up of fluid in the brain.

The hospital said Thursday the tumour has been classified as an "oligoastrocytoma (which affects ... cells that cover and protect the nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord). It is located in an area that requires a very thorough approach of great complexity."

That prompted Ballesteros to undergo a third operation on Friday, which was described as successful.

"The patient Mr. Severiano Ballesteros has undergone a new surgery that has ended at 5:00 pm today Friday and no complications occurred," the La Paz hospital said in a statement.

The operation, which started at 10:30 am "achieved the targets originally planned and has eliminated the oedema and the remnants of the tumor."

Seen as one of golf's all-time greats, Ballesteros lifted five majors.

He won the British Open in 1979, 1984 and 1988 and became the first European to win the Augusta Masters in 1980, an achievement he repeated in 1983.

He was an influential figure in the Ryder Cup, winning 20 points from 37 matches and captaining Europe to victory at Valderrama in 1997.

Back problems though started to trouble him in the late 1990s and his form and confidence gradually ebbed away. On July 16, 2007, he announced his retirement, although having turned 50 he was eligible for the Champions Tour and European Seniors Tour.
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Best wishes on his recovery.
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