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Defense secretary fractures arm

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  • U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates slips on ice at Washington home
  • Washington area hit by ice storm Tuesday
  • Gates undergoing treatment for broken right arm, Pentagon says
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From Mike Mount
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WASHINGTON (CNN) -- U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates returned to work Wednesday afternoon after breaking his upper right arm in a fall on the ice outside his Washington home, a Pentagon spokesman said.

U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates attends a strategic planning meeting with his arm in a sling Wednesday at the Pentagon.

Gates suffered a broken humerus, the bone that connects the shoulder and elbow, Defense Department spokesman Geoff Morrell said.

Gates, 64, didn't seek treatment until Wednesday morning when he checked into Walter Reed Army Medical Center, said Pentagon spokesman Geoff Morrell.

"I think he's in a lot of pain," Morrell said.

Gates apparently slipped as he returned from dinner, he said.

Gates will continue to perform his duties as defense chief, Pentagon officials said.

Gates won't be able to appear Wednesday for a hearing on the Pentagon's budget before the House Appropriations Committee. Deputy Defense Secretary Gordon England will testify in his place.

An ice storm hit the Washington area Tuesday, snarling traffic and preventing some voters from casting ballots in the presidential primaries in the District of Columbia, Virginia and Maryland. E-mail to a friend E-mail to a friend

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