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Peladeau will need wheelchair for a few months

SHERBROOKE, Que. - Pierre Karl Peladeau will need to use a wheelchair for three months after suffering several fractures in a cycling accident, doctors said Wednesday.

The media mogul and Parti Quebecois politician will not be able to use his right leg or right arm, ruling out crutches or a walker, orthopedist Bernard Larue told a news conference in Sherbrooke, Que.

"For the next three months, given that he won't be able to walk, that will be the best way for him to get around," Larue said.

Peladeau also suffered minor bleeding in the head in Sunday's accident, but doctors say the majority owner of Quebecor Inc. (TSX:QBR.B) should not suffer any long-term health problems.

"These lesions are not dangerous and there was never any moment where we thought there was any need for surgery for that," said Dr. Jocelyn Blanchard, who works with Larue at the Centre hospitalier de l'Universite de Sherbrooke.

"And since he's been here on Sunday, he's been very alert and aware."

Blanchard said Peladeau remembers how the accident occurred and is displaying no signs of amnesia.

He may, however, experience headaches or dizziness over the next few weeks, the doctors cautioned.

Peladeau, who was wearing a helmet at the time, fractured his hip and collarbone as well as five ribs after tumbling off the bike in Quebec's Eastern Townships.

The exact cause of the accident has not been made public, although it is believed Peladeau may have hit an obstacle or a pothole.

Blanchard said Peladeau is lucky in many ways, given the severity of his injuries. Blanchard said Peladeau's condition would have been a lot worse if he had not been wearing a helmet.

Blanchard said it is not head-related issues that are keeping Peladeau in hospital.

"He has a lot of trouble with his mobility, moving from the bed to the chair," Blanchard said. "It's mostly that that is keeping him in hospital."

Peladeau, who was elected in a riding north of Montreal in the April 7 election, said Tuesday he will use his wheelchair to attend the daily question period at the national assembly as soon as he can.

The legislature is only scheduled to sit until mid-June before taking a summer break.

It is also unclear what impact the injuries might have on any aspirations Peladeau might have for the PQ leadership.

The PQ has set no timetable for finding a permanent successor to Pauline Marois, who announced her resignation after the party's election defeat.

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