Gored Spanish bullfighter leaves hospital

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Top Spanish matador Julio Aparicio left hospital Friday two weeks after he was gored through the throat during a bullfight before a packed arena in Madrid.

Dressed in a blue suit, the 41-year-old waved to well-wishers outside of Madrid's October 12 Hospital but was unable to speak and used gestures to try to answer journalists' questions.

Asked if he felt it was a miracle that he was alive, Aparicio kissed his hand and looked up while pointing at the sky.

A spokesman said it was not clear how long it would take for Aparicio to make a full recovery but he added that the matador hoped to return to the ring this year.

Aparicio was taken to hospital in life-threatening condition on May 21 after the half-tonne bull jabbed one of its horns through Aparicio's chin and back out of his mouth at Madrid's Las Ventas bullring.

He underwent surgery to reconstruct his jaw, tongue and the roof of his mouth and was placed on a ventilator for several days before finally recovering the ability to breathe on his own.

The matador comes from a well-known bullfighting family and he was one of the top draws at the San Isidro bullfighting festival held each May at the 25,000-seat Las Ventas arena in the Spanish capital.

The injury happened as he was attempting the faena, a series of passes in which he uses his cape and sword before delivering the death blow to the bull.

© 2010 AFP

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