U.S. News

Clinton breaks her elbow, to undergo surgery

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton fell and broke her elbow on Wednesday while en route to the White House, but is still carrying out her duties as the top U.S. diplomat, the State Department said.

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton speaks at a joint news conference with Israel's Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman following their meeting at the State Department, June 17, 2009. REUTERS/Yuri Gripas

Clinton tripped and fell in the basement of the State Department as she prepared to head to the White House for a meeting, along with Richard Holbrooke, the special representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan.

Holbrooke went on to the White House meeting while Clinton was treated in a nearby hospital and then sent home later on Wednesday night.

She will have surgery to repair her elbow in the next week, department spokesman P.J. Crowley said.

“She is obviously under medical care for the coming days,” he said. “But she is up. She remains the secretary of state and she is working from home.”

Clinton’s meetings for Thursday were all canceled. It was not yet clear how the injury and pending surgery might affect her upcoming travel.

“Obviously, we need to get the surgery scheduled and performed, and then we’ll assess, we’ll be in a better position to answer that question,” Crowley said.

On Thursday, Clinton had been due to join film star Angelina Jolie at an event for World Refugee Day and present awards at the American Foreign Service Association.

Clinton is set to go next week to Trieste, Italy, for a meeting of Group of Eight foreign ministers and attend a conference on Afghanistan to which Iran has been invited.

On the same trip, Clinton is due to go to Corfu, Greece, for a meeting of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe on June 27-28.

In mid-July, Clinton is scheduled to make her first trip to India as the Obama administration’s top diplomat.

Reporting by Joanne Allen, Sue Pleming and Deborah Charles, editing by Patricia Zengerle