Gov. Whitman Breaks Leg Skiing

Gov. Christie Whitman was hospitalized Sunday after breaking a leg in a skiing accident in Switzerland, her spokesman said.

Whitman was attending the World Economic Forum in Davos and was skiing in a conference-organized event in the middle of the day when she took a hard, twisting fall on an intermediate slope, spokesman Pete McDonough said.

She suffered a fracture to the lower bones of one leg and was taken to Spital Davos, the local hospital, where she underwent surgery at about 3 p.m., he said. McDonough did not know which leg the governor broke.

McDonough said the governor was "fine" following the operation and would only need crutches, not a cast, during her recovery.

"She's very athletic, and it comes with the territory," he said.

Whitman will probably cancel a Tuesday trip to visit NATO troops in Stuttgart, Germany, and will remain in Davos to recuperate from her injury, McDonough said. He said she was expected to return to New Jersey later this week, although he did not know specifically what day.

This is the fourth time Whitman has undergone surgery in more than three years.

Last November, she had emergency surgery to remove her appendix, and she had surgery in February 1996 to repair a shoulder injury that had been bothering her for more than a year. In November 1995, she had a large ovarian cyst removed.