Green's leg amputated after accident
JACKSON, Miss. -- Champions Tour golfer Ken Green's lower right leg was amputated Monday following a recreational vehicle accident last week in which his brother and girlfriend died.
He was under sedation and in good condition after the three-hour operation at University of Mississippi Medical Center, Green's agent and close friend Kevin Richardson said.
"He's safe and he tolerated it well," Richardson told The Associated Press. He added that Green hopes to play competitive golf again.
Richardson said Green will spend at least a week in the hospital before returning home to Indiantown, Fla. He will go through rehabilitation and be fitted for a prosthetic limb. The 50-year-old golfer will need surgery on a suborbital bone in his face. He also has about a 6-inch cut on the left side of his head.
His brother, William Green, and girlfriend Jean Marie Hodgin died in the June 8 accident in east Mississippi. Also killed was his German shepherd, Nip.
Richardson said Green's sister, Shelley White, and her husband, Slugger, have been with Green since the accident.
"They've just been unbelievable," Richardson said. "I can't say enough about Shelley. She lost one brother and the other brother lost his leg. There's strain on her and she's held up so well. She's just so strong. She's been by Ken's side almost constantly."
Still, Richardson and those close to Green are concerned. Green has openly discussed his mental problems that plagued the five-time winner's final years on the PGA Tour. He returned to competitive golf last year when he joined the Champions Tour for players over 50. He was 54th on the money list before the accident.
Green has spoken of hearing voices that made it nearly impossible to concentrate on the golf course, pushing him to the verge of suicide. Richardson said Green has met with a psychologist at the hospital.
"Even if he didn't have a history, I would be concerned about it because of the multiple losses he's had physically and emotionally, not only losing his leg, and having his career threatened, but his brother, his girlfriend and his dog," Richardson said. "I think if someone who was so-called normal went through that they would have a lot of emotional issues going forward."
The three were traveling east in an RV on Interstate 20 from Austin, Texas, where Green played in a tournament, when a tire blew out near Hickory, Miss. The RV went off the road, down an embankment and into an oak tree, destroying the front of the vehicle.
The Mississippi Highway Patrol said Ken Green was driving, but Richardson said Green remembers being in the back of the RV when the tire blew.
Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press
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