Former Assemblymember Sandrè Swanson says he will return to his job as deputy mayor of Oakland within several weeks after taking off three months to recover from spinal surgery.

Swanson said he joined Mayor Jean Quan's staff in December assuming he might need a little time off to treat what he thought was a pinched nerve. But it turned out that he actually had bone spurs pressing against his spinal cord.

"The neurosurgeons told me that if I didn't have an operation, I would be paralyzed," he said by phone Thursday.

Swanson underwent surgery to remove the bone spurs on Feb. 27 at Stanford Hospital, where he remained for a month to begin his recuperation.

Swanson said he has been on unpaid leave from his $140,000 a year Oakland post since his vacation and sick time expired in March and that his private insurance paid for the operation and hospital stay.

He also said he is walking well and expects to have no lasting issues from the surgery.

"They took great care of me," he said. "I couldn't have been in better hands. I very thankful for that."



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