Broken Ribs, Face Hold Reid Out of Senate's Opening Ceremonies

The chamber's top Democrat said he's working from home on "doctor's orders."

Harry Reid had to skip the Senate's opening ceremonies Tuesday on advice from his doctor.

The Senate minority leader broke three ribs and bones in his face last week in an accident involving a piece of exercise equipment.

Senate Minority Whip Dick Durbin led the Senate through a series of procedural resolutions recognizing the quorum gathered for the 114th Congress. Once the formalities were over, Durbin said Reid is expected to make a "speedy recovery."

Reid's office says the senator has been working consistently since the accident, but a concussion he suffered from the injury has dictated that he remain at home while conducting business. He also has a bandage over his right eye that would probably look unseemly on the Senate floor.

"Working from home on doctor's orders. Just wrapped up a good meeting with my leadership team." Reid tweeted Tuesday, along with a picture.

Reid fell while exercising with a resistance band which snapped, sending him flying forward into a cabinet where he broke several bones in his face and ribs, Durbin told reporters Tuesday. There was "lots of blood," he added, and a medic arrived on the scene. Reid still has severe bruising on the right side of his face, Durbin said.

But Reid was "lucid" during their meeting Tuesday morning, Durbin added, saying that Reid has recovered remarkably quickly.

Durbin, who is filling in for Reid during the Minority leader's absence would not, however, predict when Reid would return.

Reid met with his leadership team, including Durbin, at his home earlier Tuesday and his office has said that Reid has maintained consistent contact with congressional leaders and the White House since the accident.

"Senator Reid is making a speedy recovery," Durbin said.

In one of his first acts as majority leader, Sen. Mitch McConnell said he wished Reid well and hoped his frequent sparring partner would return to the Senate soon. "Senator Reid is a former boxer. He's tough. I know he'll be back in fighting form soon enough," he said.