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Monday, April 12, 1999 Published at 09:16 GMT 10:16 UK


Prince William in sling after finger surgery

Prince William, eldest son of the heir to the British throne, has undergone an operation on a broken finger which he fractured playing rugby at Eton.

The injury occurred before Christmas, but had not healed properly.

He was admitted to the Derbyshire Royal Infirmary where he underwent surgery to pin his index finger back into position.

Surgeons at the hospital's Pulvertaft hand unit put metal pins and wires in William's hand to stabilise it.

The operation, led by Professor Frank Burke, lasted two hours and was carried out under general anaesthetic.

The Pulvertaft unit is a national centre for excellence in treating hand injuries.

William was released from hospital on Saturday but will have to wear his hand in a sling for a week.

On Sunday William was with his brother Prince Harry, 14, and friends at Wembley to see England's rugby union team narrowly beaten by Wales.

Prince William had been staying in Scotland before travelling to Derbyshire for the surgery.

Left untreated, the injury could have caused arthritis in later life.

He is due back at Eton in two weeks time and on Thursday, for the first time, will become a godfather when he attends the christening of King Constantine of Greece's grandson.

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