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House Majority Whip Steve Scalise in a file photo. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque

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WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. Representative Steve Scalise, the No. 3 Republican in the House of Representatives, showed further improvement days after being shot by a man who opened fire on lawmakers at a baseball practise earlier in the week, his lead surgeon said in a statement on Saturday.

Scalise's condition was upgraded to "serious," from "critical" after undergoing another surgery on Saturday, according to a statement from Dr. Jack Sava, the director of trauma at the MedStar Washington Hospital Center. "He is more responsive and is speaking with his loved ones," the doctor said.

Scalise, 51, sustained injuries to internal organs, broken bones and severe bleeding after being shot in his left hip early on Wednesday at a baseball field in a suburb of Washington.

Four men, including Scalise, a police officer, a congressional aide and a lobbyist, were shot and wounded when a man identified as James Hodgkinson, opened fire on the lawmakers as they practiced for an annual charity baseball game between Republicans and Democrats.

Sava earlier said the Louisiana congressman had been at "imminent risk of death" when he was first brought into the hospital on Wednesday, and he received many units of transfused blood.

Hodgkinson 66, who was from the St. Louis suburb of Belleville, Illinois, died after being shot by police.

(Reporting by Joel Schectman, editing by G Crosse)

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