Sen. Mark Kirk released from rehab hospital

May 3, 2012 (CHICAGO)

The Republican senator from Highland Park had a stroke in late January and has been recovering at Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago since February. Now, he is reportedly staying with various relatives in the area.

His office released a statement on Thursday, saying, in part, "He will continue to work on his recovery as an out-patient at the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago. He has begun a rigorous walking study program to further his mobility and independence while maintaining his schedule with staff."

A photo of Kirk was released on April 24 by his doctor, who called the senator "mentally sharp."

While the statement said that the divorced Kirk would be staying with relatives, it did not specify where. ABC7 observed no activity Thursday afternoon at his Highland Park home.

The senator had been hospitalized since January 21st when he suffered the stroke and underwent brain surgery. His doctor told reporters then that Kirk would likely suffer paralysis on his left side but would retain all of his cognitive abilities.

Thursday's announcement did not indicate a timetable for Kirk's return to his duties in Washington. His staff expressed its gratitude to the residents of Illinois who have given the senator "privacy and time to heal".

In the second year of his first term in the 112th Congress, Kirk has missed 86 roll call votes in the Senate -- all but one vote in the chamber -- since his illness and numerous other votes and meetings conducted by the four committees to which he belongs.

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