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Sunday, March 7, 1993 - Page updated at 12:00 AM

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Larry Bird Resting After Five-Hour Surgery On Back

AP

BOSTON - Former Boston Celtics star Larry Bird was resting comfortably yesterday after undergoing five hours of back fusion surgery.

Officials at New England Baptist Hospital said Bird was expected to make a full recovery in six to eight months.

Bird's bad back forced him to retire in August after 13 years in the NBA. He missed 37 games last season with back problems.

Bird, 36, has a history of back troubles, including sciatica, a nerve pain connected with disk problems. In 1990, he broke a small bone in his back in a fall during training camp.

The operation was performed Friday by Dr. Alexander Wright, chief of spinal surgery at the hospital, who operated on Bird in June 1991 to correct a disk problem in his lower back.

The fusion surgery involved shaving strips from Bird's pelvic bone and placing them vertically alongside his vertebrae to strengthen the damaged area and ease the pain.

Copyright (c) 1993 Seattle Times Company, All Rights Reserved.

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