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Fall Doesn't Keep This Senator Down

Sen. Lisa Murkowski -- in a wheelchair, holding her crutches -- is recovering from a ski accident. (Courtesy of Sen. Murkowski's office)

Sen. Lisa Murkowski has spent the past two weeks moving around Capitol Hill in a wheelchair -- after tearing two key ligaments and a chunk of cartilage in her left knee from a spill while skiing. Major surgery awaits.

And she's already making plans to hit the slopes again next season.

Then again, as an Alaskan, the 51-year-old Republican probably figures her political career depends on it. "I definitely need to be skiing again in December," she told a recent luncheon group, reports our colleague Juliet Eilperin. "Alaskans are very impressed with acts of bravado and machismo, and they think, 'Yeah, she's my senator and she fell 300 feet.' "

An expert skier, Murkowski was taking on the south face at Alyeska Ski Resort near Anchorage on March 8. She said she was trying to negotiate a mogul near the top when she started tumbling. "I slid slow enough none of my gear disengaged," she said. Yet it was enough to rip apart her ACL, MCL and lateral meniscus.

And then? After getting treated at the resort by an orthopedic surgeon friend who happened to be skiing there as well, she got on a red-eye that night -- to make it back to Washington for a vote Monday.

No trouble getting around the Hill since then, insists her spokesman Michael Brumas. "She is in great physical shape, so she has been able to get out of the wheelchair and use crutches," though she can't put any pressure on that leg, now in a full brace. She's waiting until the Easter recess to go home for surgery.

Murkowski told the luncheon group that she got a surprise call from a fellow athlete-pol -- President Obama -- to wish her a speedy recovery.

By The Reliable Source  |  March 20, 2009; 1:03 AM ET
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Considering the very recent death of Natasha Richardson as a result of falling while taking a ski lesson, don't you think this cute article is in bad taste? I'm sure this was instigated by the Senator's office and we really can't expect a pol or their p.r. people to be sensitive - I mean press is press - but shouldn't the Post have noticed the tackiness?

Posted by: annapolis2 | March 20, 2009 10:58 AM | Report abuse

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