Doctors expect a full recovery for television sitcom star Tony Danza from spinal injuries he sustained in a Tuesday skiing mishap at Deer Valley.

Danza underwent a 3 1/2 hour operation Thursday at the University Hospital to repair a dislocated vertebra and "clean decompressed nerves." Dr. John D. Schlegel inserted a steel rod into the lumbar region of the 42-year-old actor's spine to straighten a fractured vertebra that was affecting the use of his spinal column below.Schlegel said injuries initially caused some loss of feeling in Danza's legs, but added "Tony's nerve functions look good now. He has been wiggling his toes and legs, which indicates his condition is improving."

Danza, who was in stable condition Friday, also suffered six broken ribs, a punctured right lung and bruises to his liver and kidneys, said Schlegel.

Although reluctant to offer a date when Danza might be released, doctors said they are certain the star of television's "Taxi" and "Who's the Boss?" will recover completely.

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"Tony has kept himself in such excellent physical condition that he'll heal quickly," said Schlegel, an orthopedic surgeon and professor at the University of Utah Medical School. "I can't look into a crystal ball and say how soon he'll be able to go home - but I'm sure he'll remain hospitalized for at least 10 more days."

Danza is expected to begin walking with assistance Friday and will require some rehabilitation training. Friends said the largest task facing hospital employees may be slowing the energetic Danza down long enough for his wounds to heal.

The New York native was skiing with a friend Tuesday morning when he hit a rock and slammed into a tree.

Danza and his wife, Tracy, own a condominium at Park City's Deer Valley.

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