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Last Updated: Monday, 8 May 2006, 11:46 GMT 12:46 UK
Stones guitarist has head surgery
Keith Richards
Richards fell from a tree while on holiday in Fiji
Rolling Stones guitarist Keith Richards has undergone surgery in Auckland, New Zealand, after a fall in Fiji.

The operation was a "complete success" and Richards is up and talking with his family, said a statement from the band.

It said doctors decided to perform a "small operation" to remove pressure after Richards complained of headaches.

Richards, 62, was flown to New Zealand after reportedly falling out of a coconut tree. He was officially said to have suffered "mild concussion".


The band management said that Richards was feeling well after being examined by doctors at the Ascot Hospital last week.

"However, after complaining of headaches yesterday doctors thought it prudent to move ahead with a small operation to remove the pressure," it said.

The operation took place on Monday morning.

Before the official statement, media speculation had continued about Richards's head injury, the BBC's Greg Ward in Auckland said.

A newspaper in New Zealand had reported that Richards may have suffered a subdural haematoma, a blood clot on his brain.

The New Zealand Herald newspaper said that doctors at one stage feared for his life.

The band's management had denied earlier reports that Richards had suffered a brain haemorrhage.

It said the Rolling Stones A Bigger Bang European tour would be going ahead and will now start in June 2006 - but could not confirm that Richards would be on stage for the first show.

The 35-date tour had previously been scheduled to start in Barcelona on 27 May and end in Cardiff on 29 August.

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