Secretary Gates breaks shoulder

February 13, 2008 6:53:04 PM PST
Defense Secretary Robert Gates fractured his right arm in a fall on an icy step at his home in Washington, D.C., and was treated Wednesday at Bethesda Naval Medical Center, the Pentagon said.

He returned to work later Wednesday and the injury was not expected to affect his schedule in the coming weeks, said spokesman Geoff Morrell.

Gates slipped Tuesday night but decided not to be examined until the next morning when he got to the Defense Department, where he underwent a series of X-rays. He was taken to Bethesda in suburban Maryland and returned to the Pentagon later Wednesday.

Gates suffered a fracture of his upper right humerus and has been fitted with a sling, Morrell said.

"Fortunately, it does not appear as though his injury will require surgery," the spokesman added.

Because of the accident, Gates canceled a scheduled appearance Wednesday morning on Capitol Hill where he was to testify on the Pentagon's budget for the new fiscal year beginning Oct. 1.

Forecasters said that as a result of the ice storm that struck the nation's capital, at least a quarter-inch of ice could build up on the roads and sidewalks in the region through Wednesday morning, according to a National Weather Service ice storm warning issued Wednesday morning.