Minnesota Gov. Dayton says lungs improving

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MINNEAPOLIS (AP) – Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton says his lungs have improved after being damaged by post-surgery complications and that he will return home Wednesday after being hospitalized at Mayo Clinic for more than a month.

The 71-year-old Democrat spoke with reporters Tuesday by phone from the Rochester, Minnesota, clinic. He says his lungs “have improved considerably in the last two weeks” and that he seldom has to use oxygen any more.

Dayton underwent two surgeries last month to fuse vertebrae to improve stability of his back and legs. He says he turned over control to Republican Lt. Gov. Michelle Fischbach when he was under anesthesia.

He also defended his office’s handing of his extended hospital stay, which wasn’t publicly announced. Dayton said when he didn’t have regular press availabilities as usual “that should have meant something.”

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