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Doctors satisfied with rescued caver's condition

Friday - 6/20/2014, 6:56am  ET

Photo provided by mountain rescue service Bavaria shows rescuers carrying the stretcher with injured German cave researcher Johann Westhauser to helicopter after pulling him out of the country's deepest cavern near Berchtesgaden at the German-Austrian border Thursday, June 19, 2014. The final stretch marked the end of a spectacular rescue operation that lasted nearly a week. Westhauser sustained head injuries in a rock fall June 8 while nearly 1,000 meters (3,280 feet) underground in the Riesending cave system. (AP Photo/Bergwacht Bayern)

BERLIN (AP) -- Doctors say they're satisfied with the condition of a cave researcher hauled out of Germany's deepest cavern after sustaining head injuries, though he will need a few months to recover fully.

Johann Westhauser was flown to the Murnau Trauma Center following his rescue from the Riesending cave Thursday, nearly two weeks after being hit by a falling rock.

Doctors said Friday the 52-year-old sustained skull and eye socket fractures, and some internal bleeding. In a video shown at a news conference Friday, Westhauser appeared to have some difficulty speaking but the hospital said he won't need neurological surgery.

Medical director Volker Buehren said Westhauser likely will stay two to four weeks at the clinic, then will need further therapy -- with the healing process lasting three to six months.


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