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Clinton released from hospital early

Helsinki summit with Yeltsin delayed a day

March 16, 1997
Web posted at: 12:13 p.m. EST (1713 GMT)

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- President Clinton returned to the White House on Sunday earlier than expected after two days in the hospital to repair a knee tendon injured in a freak accident Friday.

But his Helsinki summit with Russian President Boris Yeltsin has been postponed by one day to give Clinton more time to recuperate.

Clinton was in good spirits and telling jokes after arriving at the White House around noon.The president had been expected to leave the hospital Sunday.
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Clinton, who was in the hospital for nearly 48 hours, was to meet with Yeltsin on Wednesday and Thursday of this week. The meeting will now take place on Thursday and Friday.

"President Clinton and President Yeltsin have agreed to delay the start of the summit in Helsinki by one day," White House spokesman David Johnson said.

The Kremlin press service confirmed the postponement was made "by mutual agreement."

Clinton will depart for Helsinki late Wednesday and is to arrive around midday Thursday. Johnson said the previously announced summit schedule would remain essentially the same.

Clinton tore a tendon in his knee in a freak accident on Friday when he lost his footing on a step at the Florida home of Australian golfer Greg Norman. He underwent emergency surgery to repair the knee Friday. Clinton will be on crutches for weeks.

The postponement of the summit forced the president to delay a state visit to Denmark, originally slated for Friday, until July, Johnson said.

Johnson said the president expressed appreciation to the governments of Denmark, Finland and Russia for agreeing to the postponement.

Reuters contributed to this report.


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