updated 10/11/2008 9:37:59 PM ET 2008-10-12T01:37:59

Evangelist Billy Graham was released from the hospital Saturday, sore and bruised but not seriously injured, after he tripped and fell over one of his dogs at his North Carolina home, hospital officials said.

The 89-year-old Graham stayed overnight at Mission Hospital in Asheville with discomfort and bruising. X-rays showed no broken bones, spokeswoman Merrell Gregory said in a news release.

For six decades, Graham led a worldwide crusade-based ministry that packed stadiums with believers and allowed him to counsel every U.S. president since Harry Truman.

The Southern Baptist minister fell late Friday at his home in Montreat, N.C.

The accident happened when Graham bent over to pet Sam, his golden retriever, and the dog got under his feet, Graham spokesman Larry Ross said.

"He's a loyal dog. He follows Mr. Graham wherever he goes," Ross said. The dog was a gift two years ago from friends of one of Graham's children, Ross added.

The hospital offered to let Graham go home after the X-rays, but the evangelist decided to stay overnight because it was so late, Ross said.

"He had a good night's rest. Nurses said he was able to sleep. He was sitting in a chair eating full meals this morning," Ross said.

Graham's personal doctor said the evangelist was able to do his daily exercises Saturday morning.

"Of course we worry any time a patient takes a fall, especially an older patient. But while Mr. Graham is somewhat bruised, with some extremely sore muscles, he seems to have suffered no serious injuries," Dr. Lucian Rice said in a statement released by the hospital.

Rice expects a full recovery, but did have some advice for his patient: "I am encouraging him to remain as active as possible, but to be mindful of his dog, who likes to keep faithfully at his feet."

Earlier this year, Graham had elective surgery to update a shunt that controls excess fluid on his brain. The shunt was first installed in 2000 and drains fluid from through a small tube, relieving excess pressure that can cause symptoms similar to Parkinson's disease.

Graham has also suffered from prostate cancer and macular degeneration. He was hospitalized last year for nearly two weeks after experiencing intestinal bleeding.

Graham turns 90 on Nov. 7.

Copyright 2008 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


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