A bruised and bandaged Sen. Harry Reid appeared before the press on Thursday for the first time since his dramatic exercising accident earlier this month sidelined him.
“Glad to be back,” Reid said, seated in front of reporters and cameras at a conference table in his office.
The Democratic Senate leader described in graphic detail what surgeons will do on Monday when they reconstruct the bones around his right eye that were shattered when an exercise band he was using broke, causing him to tumble hard into cabinets in his Nevada home. He also cracked several ribs, although the former boxer described those injuries as “minor.”
“They’re going to reconstruct the bones here,” Reid said pointing to a visible dent in his head. “It’s been pushed in against my eye and they’re going to move that back out.”
Reid, who is 75, said his doctors are “confident I’ll be really quite good” after the surgery, which will take place in Washington and will require him to be away from work all next week. After that, he said, he hopes to be back to work “full time.”
Despite information from his office at the time of the accident that he had suffered a concussion when he fell, Reid said he had not.
“To my knowledge, I’m not getting treatment for a concussion,” he said. “Although I do have a better understanding of the football players and baseball players who have concussions. No one’s told me I had one, but perhaps I had. I don’t know.”
Regardless of the health setback, the fifth term senator said he plans still to run for re-election next year. His race is likely to be one of the toughest, highest profile campaigns in the country.
“At this stage, I’m fully intending to run,” he said.
Pressed to fully commit, Reid would only say that he plans to run and is getting his campaign organized.
“The doctors have been very supportive of my plans. Nothing has changed,” he said, adding, “We have quite an operation in Nevada that hasn’t lost a step.”
Reid said he is exercising again – walking up to an hour at a time – but not yet back to doing strength workouts.