U.S. News

U.S. Senate majority leader leaves hospital after exercise mishap

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) speaks to reporters on the upcoming budget battle on Capitol Hill in Washington December 9, 2014. REUTERS/Gary Cameron

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Outgoing U.S. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid broke ribs and facial bones when a piece of exercise equipment malfunctioned while he was working out on New Year’s Day at his home in Henderson, Nevada, his office said on Friday.

The 75-year-old Democrat, a former amateur boxer, was taken to a hospital in Henderson by his security detail for treatment after being injured on Thursday. He was later transferred to the University Medical Center in nearby Las Vegas for further testing and was kept overnight as a precaution before being discharged on Friday.

Reid spokeswoman Kristen Orthman said the senator is “ready to get back to work.” Orthman said Reid went home to Henderson after leaving the hospital and will return to Washington this weekend ahead of the Senate reconvening on Tuesday.White House spokesman Eric Schultz said President Barack Obama called Reid on Friday “to wish him a full and speedy recovery” and was glad to hear the senator was doing well.

“A piece of equipment Senator Reid was using to exercise broke, causing him to fall and break a number of ribs and bones in his face,” an earlier statement from Reid’s office said.

Orthman told the Las Vegas Sun the senator was using a resistance band, an elastic band used for strength training, that snapped and hit him in the face.

Another aide, Adam Jentleson, told the newspaper Reid broke bones near his right eye and several ribs when he fell. Jentleson said Reid probably will have severe facial bruises.

Reid was elected to the Senate in 1986 and became majority leader in 2007. He will surrender that position to Senator Mitch McConnell in the new Congress as a result of November’s elections in which Republicans took control of the Senate from Reid’s Democrats.

Orthman said Reid spent Friday with his wife and spoke with fellow senators in preparation for the Senate’s return.

Additional reporting by Julia Edwards; Writing by Bill Trott and Will Dunham; Editing by Jeffrey Benkoe and David Gregorio