ABC News’ Luis Martinez Reports: Defense Secretary Robert Gates is back at work at the Pentagon Wednesday afternoon with his arm in a sling, the result of a fracture to his upper right arm after taking a slip last night on an icy pathway leading to his home.
The Washington D.C. area endured an ice storm last night that led to big traffic pile-ups, major traffic delays and anecdotal evidence that quite a few people took some major slips on the ice including, as it turns out, Secretary Gates.
After his fall last night, Gates immediately called his doctor, but elected not to be examined until later. When he came to work at the Pentagon this morning, Gates was examined by his doctor and a series of X-rays determined that he had fractured his upper Humerus.
Gates was then taken to the National Naval Medical Center at Bethesda, Maryland for a consultation with an orthopedic surgeon. Indications are that Gates will not require surgery, but he is now wearing an arm sling.
The Secretary has resumed his schedule for the day and it does not appear that his future schedule will be impacted by his injury. The Secretary is left-handed.
First word of the Secretary’s injury came Wednesday morning when he did not appear at a congressional hearing on the Pentagon’s budget.
Deputy Defense Secretary Gordon England took his place.
Several Congressmen at the hearing noted the Secretary’s injury, including Rep. Jerry Lewis (R-CA) who noted that he too almost took a spill on his icy patio last night, "these are dangerous times, you know."