State Rep. Rich Morthland, R-Cordova, underwent surgery Thursday afternoon after being head-butted in the knee by a cow.
Speaking from his hospital bed at Genesis Medical Center in Silvis, Rep. Morthland said the injury happened early Thursday morning when a cow trying to bolt through a gate "smashed its head into my knee.
"Thankfully I screamed so hard it scared the other cows off, and I managed to close the gate," he said. "I couldn't get up and I had to drag myself 100 yards to my car."
Rep. Morthland said he managed to get in the car and drive the mile to his house where he honked the horn to alert his wife Betsey, who drove him to the hospital.
"I smelled like crap," Rep. Morthland said jokingly.
Doctors told him his patellar tendon had been severely damaged, but not torn off completely, so it won't require screws ''or anything like that,'' he said. He will need to immobilize his leg for six weeks, followed by another six weeks of "real intensive" physical therapy, Rep. Morthland said.
He's expected to make a full recovery.
''It could have been worse,'' he said. ''Farming is a dangerous business.''
Rep. Morthland and his wife run a 400-acre farm in Coe Township and have a herd of 100 cows.