SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) _ Former U.S. Sen. Paul Simon was released from the hospital Saturday after having coronary artery bypass surgery earlier in the week.

Doctors at St. John's Hospital said they expect Simon to recover fully from surgery that corrected blockages in six arteries.

Simon will begin light cardiac rehabilitation soon and will return for a routine checkup in six weeks, said Dr. Harry Wellons Jr.

The former Democratic senator heads the Paul Simon Public Policy Institute at Southern Illinois University in Carbondale.

In a written statement, the senator and his wife, Jeanne, thanked well-wishers for messages of support.

``At this time, we will be concentrating our efforts on Paul's complete recovery,'' Mrs. Simon wrote.