Miss. Gov. Barbour has surgery for lower back pain

By The Associated Press

JACKSON — Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour, a potential 2012 presidential candidate, has returned to the Governor’s Mansion after having surgery to relieve lower back pain.

The 63-year-old Republican has traveled extensively during the past year. He told The Associated Press recently that walking and sitting on airplanes have caused discomfort.

The neurosurgeon who performed the procedure, Dr. Jack Moriarity, said in a statement from the governor’s office that the surgery relieved pressure on nerves in the lower back. Moriarity said Barbour’s prognosis was excellent.

The surgery was done at River Oaks Hospital in Flowood, Miss. The governor’s office said the procedure was minimally invasive and said his condition was common among former athletes. Barbour played baseball in high school.