U.S. surgeon to meet John Kerry in Geneva after his bike accident

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John Kerry

SWITZERLAND — John Kerry’s U.S. surgeon is on his way to Switzerland to inspect the injury that the secretary of state sustained in a cycling accident.

Dr. Dennis Burke of Massachusetts General Hospital performed a past hip surgery on Kerry. He will join up with the secretary in Geneva and accompany him back to the United States, a senior State Department official said late Sunday.

Kerry broke his right femur in the accident in Scionzier, France, on Sunday morning, State Department spokesman John Kirby said. Kerry’s injury will likely require surgery, the unnamed official said.

The injury is near the site of the previous hip surgery, Kirby said in a statement.

Hospital stay

Shortly after the accident, Kerry was flown to a hospital in nearby Geneva, Switzerland. He initially planned on flying back to the United States on Sunday but later decided to spend the night in the hospital as a precautionary measure, Kirby said.

The spokesman said Kerry was in “great spirits and active” and has had a number of phone calls, including one with President Barack Obama.

Kerry regrets that he won’t be able to visit Spain as planned, and he also won’t be able to attend an anti-ISIS coalition meeting in Paris on Tuesday. He will participate in the Paris meeting remotely, Kirby said.

Deputy Secretary of State Antony Blinken will travel to Paris for that meeting.

Not life-threatening

Kerry is stable, his injury is not life-threatening and he should make a full recovery, Kirby said.

It can take six months or more for a femur, the thighbone, to heal, depending on the nature of the break, according to orthopedic websites.

“Paramedics and a physician were on the scene with the secretary’s motorcade at the time of the accident,” Kirby said. He received initial medical care at the site of the crash.

Kerry had traveled to Geneva for negotiations with Iranian diplomats on that country’s nuclear program. He was cycling about 30 miles from the city, which is close to France.

The secretary is an avid cyclist who also took his bike to the region in March, when he met previously with Iranian diplomats.

Kerry injured his shoulder in a 1992 cycling accident.