Saudi Arabia's elderly King Abdullah had a successful second operation in New York on Friday, the royal court said in a statement released by the kingdom's state news agency.
Earlier on Friday, the court said the king, believed to be aged about 86 or 87, would have surgery to stabilise vertebrae in his spinal column.
"The operation, which took place at exactly six in the morning New York time, was successful, and a second phase of physiotherapy will begin after that (the operation)," the statement issued through the Saudi Press Agency said.
The royal court did not elaborate on when the physiotherapy stage would start, or when the ruler would return to his Gulf Arab kingdom.
The second operation was the completion of earlier surgery in New York last week after a blood clot complicated a slipped disc, a statement released earlier on Friday said.
A Saudi official on the sidelines of a Gulf security conference in Bahrain confirmed the success of the second operation.
"He is well. He had an operation today and I hope he soon gets better," Prince Turki al-Faisal, a former Saudi intelligence chief, told reporters.
Asked when the king would return home, Prince Turki replied: "I have no idea. You will have to wait for what comes out (officially)."
A frail Crown Prince Sultan, who has health problems of his own, has returned from abroad to govern the world's largest oil exporter while Abdullah is away for an unspecified period.
Abdullah appointed his half-brother Nayef second deputy prime minister in 2009 in a move that analysts said would secure the leadership in the event of serious health problems afflicting the king and crown prince and which would also improve Nayef's chances of one day becoming king.
ReutersLast Mod: 04 Aralık 2010, 12:49