Kerry Released From Hospital After Broken Leg Surgery

Secretary of State John Kerry speaks to media as he is discharged from Massachusetts General Hospital Friday. (Elise Amendola/AP)
Secretary of State John Kerry speaks to media as he is discharged from Massachusetts General Hospital Friday. (Elise Amendola/AP)

Secretary of State John Kerry was discharged from Massachusetts General Hospital Friday 10 days after undergoing surgery on a broken leg he sustained in a bicycle accident in France, and he declared he had not missed a tick on key foreign policy issues during his recovery.

Kerry left MGH on crutches but under his own power. He told reporters he planned to go to his nearby home in Beacon Hill for a few days before traveling to Washington next week.

He promised to be "absolutely, totally and fully engaged" in nuclear negotiations with Iran, saying he remained confident the June 30 timetable for completing a deal could be achieved. He said he expected to travel overseas to join in the discussions later in the month as they neared a critical juncture.

"Our team is in Vienna right now working out very complex ... details of this agreement," Kerry said "It's a tough slog. It's not easy."

Kerry was injured May 31 when his bike struck a curb and he fell on a regular Tour de France route southeast of Geneva. He was taken by helicopter to a hospital in Geneva where X-rays confirmed the fracture of his right femur.

The former U.S. senator from Massachusetts was later flown to Boston and underwent a four-hour operation June 2.

Dr. Dennis Burke, an orthopedic surgeon, said Kerry's recovery from surgery has been uncomplicated.

"He is ambulating independently on crutches and working hard with physical therapy toward a full recovery, which we anticipate will occur in several months' time," Burke said in a statement.

Kerry said he has been working the phones and spoke with President Barack Obama and other top administration officials on Thursday about issues including efforts to help Iraq stop advances by the Islamic State group.

"We are making some critical decisions that are going to move the process forward in Iraq," he said.

"Prime Minister (Haider) al-Abadi has a plan. We support the plan and were part of the plan," he added, while also acknowledging that the U.S. could be more "self-critical" about its role and improve on communications within the coalition.

The 71-year-old Kerry is an avid cyclist who often takes his bike with him during overseas trips.

He said while he expects to remain on crutches for some time he hopes to return to cycling.

"The one big thing I will tell you about being on my back for a few days is that it gives you time to think," he said. "It gives you clarity. I've had a lot of time to think about some of the challenges we face."

White House spokesman Josh Earnest said Kerry's release indicates his determination to get back to his office and back to work.

"The truth is he probably benefited from a little rest when he was in the hospital," Earnest said.


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