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Kerry’s surgeon to accompany him to US for leg treatment

FILE - In this March 16, 2015 file picture U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, rides a bike after a bilateral meeting with the Iranian Foreign Minister in Lausanne, Switzerland. Kerry is in stable condition in a Swiss hospital after suffering a leg injury in a bike crash outside Geneva Switzerland on Sunday, May 31, 2015. (Jean-Christophe Bott,Keystone via AP, file)

WASHINGTON (AP) — Secretary of State John Kerry’s orthopedic surgeon will accompany him on the flight from Geneva to the United States for treatment of Kerry’s broken leg, the State Department said Monday.

Spokesman John Kirby said that Dr. Dennis Burke will accompany Kerry to Boston to monitor the secretary’s condition and “ensure he remains comfortable.”

Kerry, 71, fractured his right femur Sunday when he struck a curb with his bicycle and fell on a regular Tour de France route southeast of Geneva. He has been receiving treatment at Geneva’s main medical center, HUG.

Earlier, Kirby described Kerry as “in great spirits and active,” making “a range of phone calls including with the president.” He “never lost consciousness, his injury is not life-threatening and he is expected to make a full recovery,” Kirby said.

“Secretary Kerry will be transported to Boston aboard a U.S. military C-17 transport aircraft,” he said. “The aircraft, based in Ramstein, Germany, will be staffed by additional military medical personnel in keeping with standard practice.”

Kerry’s precise travel plans were not announced, but he will receive further care at Massachusetts General Hospital once he returns home. Kerry had hip replacement surgery several years ago.

Kerry was taken by helicopter to the Geneva hospital after a paramedic and a physician who were traveling with his motorcade at the time of crash provided him with immediate attention. X-rays confirmed the extent of his injury.

His regular government plane returned Sunday night to the United States carrying much of his staff and reporters who had accompanied him on the trip. He had hoped to leave later in the day on a plane fitted with special medical equipment.

Kerry’s cycling rides have become a regular occurrence on his trips. He often takes his bike with him on the plane and was riding that bicycle Sunday.

He was in Geneva for six hours of nuclear negotiations with Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif on Saturday. World powers and Iran are trying to seal a comprehensive accord by June 30.

The prospect of a lengthy rehabilitation for Kerry could hamper the nuclear talks and other diplomatic endeavors. Even if he does not need surgery, it was not immediately known when he could fly again after returning to the United States.

There was no word on whether he would need an operation.

Kerry had planned to travel to Madrid on Sunday for meetings with Spain’s king and prime minister, before spending two days in Paris for an international gathering to combat the Islamic State. He will participate in the Paris conference remotely, Kirby said.

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