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Ballesteros complications after brain surgery

  • Story Highlights
  • NEW: Doctors have had to remove part of golfer Seve Ballesteros' skull
  • Brain swelling, following an operation to remove a tumor, forced them to act
  • The Madrid hospital is still to confirm whether the tumor is malignant or benign
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(CNN) -- Golf legend Seve Ballesteros has had part of his skull removed to relieve pressure on his brain after complications following brain tumor surgery, Madrid's La Paz hospital said on Thursday.

Spanish golfer Seve Ballesteros is in intensive care after an operation for a brain tumor.

The Associated Press reported that doctors had removed a piece of Ballesteros' skull to relieve pressure that was building up on his brain following Tuesday's surgery.

It is understood he was operated on again after losing consciousness.

The hospital said in a statement that the 51-year-old was stable but still in intensive care.

Medical experts told AP the procedure was not unusual following such surgery.

On Tuesday, doctors removed a sizable part of Ballesteros' tumor. It has not been said whether it is malignant or benign. Ballesteros was only diagnosed after collapsing at Madrid's Barajas Airport last week.

Earlier, European Tour chief executive George O'Grady had raised hopes about Ballesteros' health. Video Watch more on Ballesteros's condition ». O'Grady told the British Press Association that he had spoken to Ballesteros' brother, who had said the first operation went well. "It has got to be checked through later but his brother has phoned to tell us it was very successful."

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Ballesteros, who won a record 50 times on the European Tour, won the British Open three times and the Masters twice before retiring last year after battling back problems.

He burst to prominence by winning the 1979 British Open at Royal Lytham, captained Europe to Ryder Cup success over the United States at Valderrama in 1997.

Copyright 2008 CNN. All rights reserved.This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Associated Press contributed to this report.

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