Reported By Scott Wong – 07/26/17 12:01 PM EDT
House Majority Whip Steve Scalise (R-La.) has been discharged from the hospital and started rehabilitation a month and a half after he was critically injured in a mass shooting at a congressional baseball practice in Virginia, MedStar Washington Hospital Center said in a statement Wednesday.
The hospital said Scalise has made “excellent progress in his recovery from a life-threatening gunshot wound six weeks ago,” adding that he was discharged Tuesday and has begun intensive inpatient rehabilitation.
“He is in good spirits and is looking forward to his return to work once he completes rehabilitation,” the statement said. “He and his family are grateful for the care he received from the trauma team as well as the other doctors, nurses, and staff of MedStar Washington Hospital Center. The family also appreciates the outpouring of prayers and support during this time.”
Scalise, the No. 3 Republican in House leadership and the party’s top vote-counter, nearly lost his life on June 14, when a gunman opened fire on Republican lawmakers, aides and lobbyists practicing in Alexandria for the annual charity Congressional Baseball Game.
Scalise, 51, was shot in the hip, suffering broken bones, damage to his internal organs and major blood loss. During the next several weeks, Scalise was in and out of the intensive-care unit, battling infections as he recovered.
The others shot in the melee were congressional aide Zack Barth, lobbyist Matt Mika and Capitol Police special agent Crystal Griner, a member of Scalise’s security detail.
The shooter, James Hodgkinson, was fatally wounded during the 10-minute shootout in the usually quiet Alexandria neighborhood of Del Rey, just across the Potomac River from Washington, D.C.
In recent days, there were signs that Scalise was making significant progress. On Monday, Scalise called into his weekly whip meeting to thank his team for their hard work and to let them know he was ready to return to the Capitol soon.
Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wisc.) tweeted his support after the hospital’s news.
Scalise’s top ally, Chief Deputy Whip Patrick McHenry (R-N.C.), has been filling in for the Louisiana Republican during his absence.
—Updated at 12:42 p.m.