Walz to undergo knee surgery

Gov. Tim Walz will undergo surgery on his left knee on Thursday, temporarily transferring his powers to the lieutenant governor while he is under general anesthetic.

The governor's office announced the upcoming surgery Monday, noting it will repair a "medial meniscus tear" in his knee, an injury common among runners. TRIA Orthopedic Center in Bloomington will perform the surgery. Lt. Gov. Peggy Flanagan will take over the duties of his office during Walz's surgery and will hold those powers until the governor sends written notice to leaders in the House and Senate.

“After years of running, this minor surgery will help ensure I can hit the pavement again soon,” Walz said in a prepared statement. "I expect a smooth surgery and I have full confidence in Lieutenant Governor Flanagan to temporarily hold the power of the office while I am under anesthesia.”

His surgery is called a knee orthroscopy and it's expected he'll be fully physically recovered within six weeks. Walz will return to the governor's residence Thursday after his surgery and expects to be back in the office on Monday.

"Although I am confident in my full and speedy recovery, I believe it is appropriate to exercise diligence and follow the appropriate processes prescribed in law," Walz wrote in a letter to House Speaker Melissa Hortman and Senate President Jeremy Miller announcing the transfer of powers.

He will have the same procedure on his right knee sometime in the near future.

Previous Gov. Mark Dayton also underwent several surgeries during his time in office. During a surgery for leg and back stability at Mayo Clinic last fall, there were unexpected complications that kept him in recovery at the hospital for more than a month.

Dayton did not transfer powers before that surgery.

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