Chairman Jason Chaffetz (R-UT) questions Cecile Richards, president of Planned Parenthood Federation of America Inc. during her testimony in a House Oversight and Government Reform Committee hearing on Capitol Hill, September 29, 2015 in Washington, DC.

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Rep. Jason Chaffetz has had foot surgery but finds himself on the way back to DC

The Utah Republican might be needed for a health care vote

CNN  — 

Utah Republican Rep. Jason Chaffetz, Chairman of the House oversight committee, plans to be back in Washington, this week, after undergoing major foot surgery just days ago.

Chaffetz was expected to be out for three to four weeks after surgery, but his spokesperson confirmed to CNN Monday that he’d return to the Capitol much sooner. Chaffetz’s return was first reported by NBC.

Chaffetz’s change in travel plans raises questions about whether leadership might be gearing up for a potential health care vote this week.

RELATED: GOP on verge of losing health care vote

Republican leadership aides have said repeatedly that no vote is scheduled at this point and that they don’t plan to bring their Obamacare repeal and replace bill to the floor until they know they have the votes to pass it, but Republicans also appear in striking distance of finally gutting Obamacare.

Republicans need 216 votes, which means – if Chaffetz is present – they can afford to lose 22 Republicans and still get their legislation across the finish line. CNN has tallied 21 Republicans opposed to the bill so far, meaning Republican leaders have little room for error.

Chaffetz’s spokesperson confirmed the Utah congressman plans to support the health care bill if it goes up for a vote.

RELATED - Rep. Jason Chaffetz is not running for re-election