The Victorian premier, Daniel Andrews, is in intensive care after breaking several ribs and damaging vertebrae when he slipped and fell on wet stairs.
Andrews said in a statement on Tuesday afternoon a CT scan after his fall on “wet and slippery stairs” revealed several broken ribs and vertebrae damage and the medical advice was for him to “remain in intensive care for the next few days”.
“Cath, the kids and I are extremely grateful to the Ambulance Victoria paramedics who showed such care and kindness to our family this morning, as we are to the clinicians who have taken care of me today,” the Labor leader said.
“Our warm and sincere thanks go to the many family members, friends, colleagues and Victorians who have sent messages of love and support throughout the day.”
Andrews said he hoped to provide an update on his condition later in the week. His deputy, James Merlino, will be acting premier for the next few days.
The 48-year-old state Labor leader was due to announce a “truth-telling” commission looking at the ongoing effects of colonisation on Indigenous Australians on Tuesday morning but Merlino was called in at the last minute to make the announcement.
Merlino earlier on Tuesday confirmed at a press conference north-east of Melbourne that Andrews had suffered a “nasty fall”.
“Didn’t hit his head, no head injuries, so he’s fine in that respect – just going to hospital for some precautionary X-rays,” he said.
He couldn’t say at that time when Andrews would return to work but repeated that the premier would be fine.
“I expect he’ll be on his feet very shortly, I can’t tell you when exactly that will be, but I know he’s fine and he’s getting some good care as a precaution.”
The opposition leader, Michael O’Brien, wished Andrews a speedy recovery.
Andrews had been on leave since Friday and was due to return to work on Tuesday. Victoria’s parliament will sit again next Tuesday. The premier has led Victoria since 2014.