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Nelson Mandela recovering from lung infection, surgery

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A giant portrait of former president Nelson Mandela adorns a cooling tower of a now defunct power station in Soweto, South Africa, Monday, Dec 31, 2012. Mandela is recovering at his Johannesburg home since being hopitalized for a lung infection and undergoing gallstone surgery. (AP Photo/Denis Farrell)The Associated Press

South African anti-apartheid leader Nelson Mandela has recovered from his recent lung infection and a surgical procedure to remove gallstones, according to an announcement Sunday by President Jacob Zuma.

Doctors say that Mandela, 94, has made "steady progress and that clinically, he continues to improve," according to a statement issued by Zuma's office. Mandela was hospitalized for nearly three weeks in December before going home on Dec. 26.

Zuma's statement said Mandela "continues to receive high care" at his home in the Houghton suburb of Johannesburg and that "his daily routine is being gradually re-established."

Zuma congratulated Mandela on his recovery and said the anti-apartheid icon has "the love and support of all South Africans."

Mandela has been reading newspapers, sitting up in bed and receiving visitors, according to reports in the South African media.

The news that Mandela has recovered from the recurring lung infection and the minor surgery will reassure many in South Africa concerned about the aged leader's health.