Keith Richards thanks 'beautiful ladies' at Auckland hospital

Rolling Stones guitarist Keith Richards was discharged from hospital today but may stay in Auckland for some time, his publicist says.

Richards thanked Auckland's Ascot Hospital staff for the "truly wonderful" care he received.

"From the doctors to the beautiful ladies who make painful nights less painful and shorter. I'm pretty much at a loss for words to express my deep gratitude," he said.

"I hope I wasn't too much of a pain in the arse - after all it was my head they fixed. Many thanks, kiwis."

Richards, 62, underwent an operation on Monday to relieve pressure on his brain. The operation involved drilling a hole in his skull to drain blood from the brain.

His spokeswoman, Fran Curtis, said Richards would be staying in Auckland as an outpatient and would be returning to the hospital for check-ups.

"He will be an outpatient returning to the hospital for check-ups."

Richards injured his head when he fell out of a coconut tree while holidaying in Fiji at the end of the Stones' tour of New Zealand and Australia.

The band's European tour, due to start at the end of the month, has been scheduled to begin in June.- NZPA

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