Gov. John G. Rowland underwent surgery Monday afternoon to repair an injured thumb.

The governor said he tore ligaments in his right thumb in a fall Thursday, while walking his black Labrador retriever, Coalby, at Elizabeth Park, near the governor’s residence.

Rowland said he slipped on ice and fell into some bushes, bruising his hand and receiving scratches to his face. A doctor discovered the torn ligaments on Saturday.

“We’re not blaming the dog,” Rowland joked.

The governor was placed under a general anesthetic during the procedure at St. Francis Medical Center.

Rowland went into surgery at 1 p.m. and was out by 2 p.m., Rowland spokesman Chris Cooper said.

Rowland never officially relinquished power, but Lt. Gov. M. Jodi Rell was notified that the governor would be unconscious for a short time, Cooper said.

Under state statute, there is no official transfer of power unless a governor is incapacitated for an extended time.

Cooper said Rowland would return to work Tuesday.

Rowland said he expects to be in a cast for four to six weeks.

–Associated Press