Stephen M. Silverman
February 17, 2005 08:00 AM

Michael Jackson quietly returned to his Neverland Ranch Wednesday after spending a night in the hospital, according to Jackson spokeswoman Raymone K. Bain.

The star, whose trial on child-molestation charges was disrupted Tuesday when he detoured to the Marian Medical Center complaining of flu-like symptoms, is recovering and in good spirits, a doctor said.

“Mr. Jackson continues to be in stable condition and remains under observation at this time. He continues to need care for some persistent viral symptoms, but otherwise he’s in good spirits,” Dr. Todd Bailey, medical director of emergency services at Marian Medical Center, said at a news conference. He did not answer any questions.

While Jackson’s discharge from the facility went unobserved by reporters and photographers, the Associated Press says that two black SUVs pulled up to a hospital loading dock out of sight of news media then left swiftly.

Earlier Wednesday, Jackson’s parents, Katherine and Joseph, and brother Jermaine visited the hospital for several hours.

Jackson, 46, became ill Tuesday morning while en route to the Santa Maria, Calif., courthouse, where a pool of prospective jurors was waiting to be questioned by attorneys.

Superior Court Judge Rodney Melville, who noted that some prospective jurors also were out with the flu, postponed jury selection until Feb. 22. The trial is expected to last six months.

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