Riyadh: Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah is in good shape and has begun physical therapy following his operation for a herniated disc, Health Minister Abdullah al-Rabeeah has said.
"I would like to assure all the people of Saudi Arabia that the (king's) health is very reassuring," Rabeeah told the state news agency SPA.
"He has begun a programme of physical therapy and rehabilitation as recommended by his doctors," he said.
Interior Minister Prince Nayef bin Abdul Aziz said earlier that the king had been walking around inside the hospital after his operation last Wednesday.
King Abdullah, 86, flew to New York City on November 22 to have doctors at New York Presbyterian Hospital treat a debilitating herniated disc complicated by a haematoma that put pressure on his spine.
There is no indication yet how long the king will remain in the United States.
Despite the unusual level of transparency about his ailment, the news sparked worries among the population over the reformist monarch's long-term health and the make-up of the government, dominated by the royal family.
The leading princes of the government, including Crown Prince Sultan bin Abdul Aziz, are mostly in their 70s and 80s and have held their jobs for decades.
Many are believed suffering chronic ailments that have not been reported publicly.
First Published: Monday, November 29, 2010, 11:09