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Mitch McConnell makes calls to fellow senators as he continues recovery from fall

The Republican leader, who is still in inpatient rehab for physical therapy, "sounded good, he sounded like Mitch," in a phone call Tuesday, said Sen. John Thune, R-S.D.

WASHINGTON — Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky was making calls to fellow senators Tuesday, telling his Republican colleagues he is eager to return to Capitol Hill after he fell and was treated for a concussion this month.

Senate Minority Whip John Thune, R-S.D., said he spoke to McConnell on the phone for about five minutes Tuesday, saying he “sounded good, sounded like Mitch, this morning. … He’s anxious to get back.”

McConnell was discharged from the hospital on March 13 after he fell at a private event the week before and sustained a concussion, as well as a minor rib fracture. He has been in inpatient rehabilitation since then, according to his office, which said he was doing physical therapy to regain strength after the hospital stay, which typically takes a week or two.

McConnell is “doing very well, everything on track,” longtime political adviser Josh Holmes said Tuesday, saying he “spent a few hours with him today.”

“I believe he spoke with a few colleagues on the phone prior to me getting there,” Holmes said.

Thune said he and McConnell " just kind of checked in and touched gloves" in their call Tuesday. "He wanted to convey his appreciation for the way we’ve been working with his staff,” he told reporters, saying they “talked a little about what’s happened on the floor.”

Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, who previously served in leadership with McConnell, said he also spoke with McConnell on the phone Tuesday. “I talked to him today. He’s doing better and is eager to come back,” Cornyn said.

That McConnell has spoken to colleagues on the phone appears to be a sign of progress from last week, when Republicans said they had interacted with him only via text.

“I’ve talked to him on text. He said he’s getting better and getting stronger. That was pretty much it,” Sen. Shelley Moore Capito, R-W.Va., said Tuesday. “He said he’s getting stronger and better, and ‘be back soon’ is what he said to me.”