Cooper recovering after back surgery

In this photo taken Wednesday, Dec. 19, 2018 North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper speaks to the Associated Press during an interview at the Governor's mansion in Raleigh, N.C. Cooper hasn’t given up yet on Apple creating more jobs soon in North Carolina. Cooper declined to comment Wednesday on why the state didn’t land thousands of new jobs that Apple announced last week would go to Texas. (AP Photo/Gerry Broome)

RALEIGH — Gov. Roy Cooper is recovering after surgery to fix a herniated disc that his office says was causing him lower back pain.

Cooper’s office said the elective procedure occurred Monday at UNC Rex Hospital in Raleigh. A news release says the Democratic governor was alert and resting afterward, reading legislation and communicating with staff and cabinet secretaries.

Cooper said in the statement he expects to leave the hospital Tuesday and joked: “I guess this is what happens after too many sit-ups.”