Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews will return to work on June 28, more than three months after he fractured his spine and broke several ribs in a fall.
The 48-year-old took to Facebook on Saturday night to confirm he was “raring” to return to work later this month, having been given the all-clear by his medical team.
“The good news is the vertebrae in my back is almost fully healed, the braces come off—that’s the brace I’ve worn for 18 hours a day for the last three months,” Andrews said in a video message posted to Facebook.
“But the ribs are not fully healed, they’ll take a while. The doctors tell me these next few weeks will be a quite painful adjustment to getting used to not having that brace on.”
Andrews, clad in the North Face jacket that became synonymous with his 120 consecutive press conferences during the second wave of COVID-19 last year, said he was honoured to be the state’s premier.
“I look forward to working hard every day getting things done, and I look forward to seeing you all very, very soon,” he said.
Andrews thanked his wife Catherine and their three children for their love and support, the paramedics and staff at The Alfred hospital where he was treated after the fall and Acting Premier James Merlino “for stepping in to lead the government and the state through a really difficult time.”
He also thanked members of the public for their well wishes during his recovery.
“The tens of thousands of them who have sent me cards and notes and letters, your kindness and your concern is in some ways the best medicine and I can’t thank you enough,” Andrews said.
As part of his preparation for his return to work, Andrews received his first dose of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine at The Alfred on Wednesday.
His office released an image of him receiving the jab on Saturday.
The premier slipped on stairs while getting ready for work at a rental home in Sorrento, on the Mornington Peninsula on March 9.
He suffered an acute compression fracture of the T7 vertebra and broke several ribs, narrowly avoiding permanent spinal cord damage.
Andrews was released from The Alfred Hospital on March 15 and has been recovering at home since.
Merlino told reporters on Friday he was “very much looking forward” to the premier’s return.
“It’s a great honour to be acting premier, particularly for such a period of time,” he said.
He will return to his roles as Deputy Premier, Education Minister and Mental Health Minister.
By Benita Kolovos