Doctors operating on Gov. Norm Bangerter learned on Tuesday that his right knee had deteriorated more than expected and he likely will experience pain when walking despite the surgery.

Dr. Alan Newman, an orthopedic surgeon who works on University of Utah athletes, performed the operation on the governor Tuesday morning to explore cartilage damage in the knee and to clean bone fragments that may be causing pain. The governor, who enjoys basketball and other sports, has long been experiencing pain in the knee.University of Utah Hospital spokesman John Dwan said some debris was cleaned from the governor's knee, but the governor, who turns 56 Wednesday, will still be in pain when he walks.

Bangerter was recovering from the surgery and was expected to return to the Governor's Mansion later Tuesday. He is expected to need crutches for several days but will be able to address the Legislature when it convenes next week.

Dwan said Bangerter may decide later to completely replace the knee - a common procedure.

"It's up to the governor how much pain he can live with," Dwan said.