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Kerry has four-hour surgery to mend broken leg

john kerry

Washington: Globe-trotting US diplomat John Kerry has undergone successful surgery to mend a broken leg, and his doctor hopes to get him up and walking within 24 hours.

“The procedure was uncomplicated, the fracture was fully repaired, and we plan to get him up walking today,” Kerry’s orthopaedic surgeon Dennis Burke, from Massachusetts General Hospital, said in a statement.

“I anticipate a short hospitalization, a full and complete recovery, and a return to normal function,” Burke said.

The surgeon said the yesterday’s operation was carried out “under a regional anesthetic and the secretary was conscious throughout the four-hour operation.”

Burke added he did “not anticipate that the injury will interfere” with Kerry’s “duties as secretary of state.”

Right up until he went under the surgeon’s knife, the 71-year-old diplomat was working early yesterday, making calls to counterparts and then dialling into a high-level conference in Paris he had planned to attend in person.

Kerry broke his leg during a cycling accident in the Alps at the weekend and was flown back to the United States on board a C-17 military plane having canceled planned trips to Spain and France.

He told leaders from the US-led coalition fighting the Islamic State group meeting in Paris that they remained “the best hope of defeating” the militants also known as Daesh.

“Daesh is a resilient and utterly ruthless foe that has weaknesses and can be defeated,” Kerry said.

“One way is to expose at every opportunity the false nature of Daesh’s claim to be the Islamic State. In reality, Daesh is no more a state than I am a helicopter.”

It remained unclear yesterday how long Kerry would be out of action as he undergoes treatment, with a number of pressing issues already piling up in his in-tray.

White House spokesman John Earnest said Kerry would “approach his recuperation and rehabilitation with uncommon zeal” and would work to shorten his recovery time.

Earnest said it was “too early” to say “what impact his injury will have” on the ongoing Iran negotiations as a June 30 deadline for a deal reining in its nuclear ambitions looms.

But the White House spokesman said he remained “confident” Kerry would “play a leading role in our efforts to try to complete these negotiations by the end of June.”

The State Department has said Kerry remains focused on the negotiations and intends to be at the negotiating table at the end of the month.

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