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Recovering Pranab Mukherjee Likely to Be Discharged Tomorrow

External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee who is undergoing treatment for head injuries at the Army Hospital at Delhi is likely to be discharged// on tomorrow. The minister met with a road accident in West Bengal on Saturday and is recovering fast, according to the doctors attending him.

A team of top-notch specialists reviewed the minister's health in the morning and found him "active and cheerful".

"He is able to walk around and is progressing well. He is expected to be discharged from the hospital tomorrow," a medical bulletin issued by the Army Research and Referral Hospital said Monday afternoon.

A fresh round of investigations and scans on Mukherjee, including CT and MRI head, and CT chest, were done Monday. "These tests ruled out any bony or internal injuries," the bulletin added.

"His vital parameters continue to be within normal limits. He has a lacerated wound scalp, which is clean and has nine sutures. Apart from this, there are no other bony or soft tissue injuries," the bulletin added.

Chief of Army Staff Gen J.J. Singh also met the minister in hospital and inquired about his health.

The 72-year-old Congress leader, who heads a number of crucial inter-ministerial committees and is seen as the number two in the government, sustained severe head injuries when a truck hit his car at Bethuadahari, about 130 km from Kolkata Saturday night.

The truck swerved out of control after one of its tyres punctured and overturned on Mukherjee's car. He was on his way to Kolkata from Murshidabad, where he had gone to inaugurate a book fair.

After being given initial treatment near Kolkata, the minister was flown to New Delhi Sunday in a special military aircraft. Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, in a special gesture, was present at the military airport to receive him and kept in touch with the hospital authorities on the minister's health.

In a personal messa ge from the hospital, Mukherjee, known as a workaholic, Sunday said confidently that he would be back to work within 48 hours and thanked all those wishing him good health and speedy recovery.

If the accident had not come in the way, Mukherjee would have been in Riyadh Monday. The minister was scheduled to go to Saudi Arabia on a three-day visit to further intensify ties between India and Saudi Arabia - home to over 1.6 million members of the Indian Diaspora.

Mukherjee's visit was seen as a precursor to a trip by Manmohan Singh to the Arab country sometime in May-June.

Mukherjee is not expecting any high-profile visitor from foreign shores this week, official sources told IANS. But by next week - and going by the rate of his recovery - Mukherjee gets busy again. Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko is likely to be in India next week, the source said.


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