Henry Cisneros meets with Mayor Ron Nirenberg prior to the luncheon.
Former Secretary of Housing and Urban Development and San Antonio Mayor Henry Cisneros is recovering following surgery to repair his hamstring. Credit: Scott Ball / San Antonio Report

A paragliding mishap in Switzerland left former San Antonio Mayor Henry Cisneros hospitalized as he recovered from surgery Thursday, according to his executive assistant, Lucrecia Cross.

The 72-year-old former Secretary of Housing and Urban Development suffered a hamstring tear after launching himself into the air to paraglide in Switzerland last week, Cross said. Cisneros was spending time with his family in Switzerland when the accident occurred.

Cisneros flew back to Texas last Thursday and consulted with doctors, who recommended surgery after tests showed his hamstring had separated from his pelvic bone. A surgeon at the South Texas Spine and Surgical Center reattached the muscle Thursday morning, eight days after the injury. Cisneros was recovering at the surgical center and was set to be released on Friday, Cross said.

Cisneros was unable to comment Thursday afternoon, she added.

Cross said she is confident that Cisneros will be “good as new” after enough rest and six weeks of physical therapy. He expects to be on crutches during that time.

Cisneros bore his injury quietly, surprising Red McCombs’s staff members when he visited McCombs’s office on Wednesday, Cross said. They told Cross they had no idea he needed surgery.

“He didn’t let on that he was hurt or anything,” she said.

Cisneros is in good spirits, she added. His schedule will most likely change due to his recovery process, but he plans to work from his San Antonio office while recovering. Cisneros is a principal of Siebert Cisneros Shank, an investment and financial services company. He also serves as chairman and co-chief of investment officer of an affiliated investment firm, American Triple I, which is focused on infrastructure needs across the country.

Cisneros is serving as one of three chairs of ConnectSA, a nonprofit developing a proposed framework for a multimodal transportation plan for San Antonio and Bexar County.

“He’s a strong man and works out every day at 72,” Cross said. “He’s pretty tough.”

Jackie Wang covered local government for the San Antonio Report.