CHICAGO, Dec. 6 (UPI) -- U.S. Sen. Mark Kirk, R-Ill., plans to return to his Senate duties in January, nearly a year after he suffered a debilitating stroke, an Illinois lawmaker said.
Rep. Randy Hultgren, R-Ill., told the Chicago Tribune Thursday Kirk hopes to be on the Senate floor for the first day of the new Congress Jan. 3, and a Senate official indicated Kirk would walk up the Capitol steps to enter the chamber.
"I'm just really excited," said Hultgren, who said he had talked to Kirk on the phone. "I'm so grateful for the recovery he's been able to make."
Kirk, 53, wearing a brace on his left leg, climbed 37 floors of the Willis Tower, the tallest building in North America, for a fundraiser last month for the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago. He appears physically strong and mentally sharp although he walks with the aid of cane.
Kirk was elected to the Senate in 2010 after serving nearly a decade in the House of Representatives.
Hultgren said the Illinois congressional delegation plans a "big party and celebration" to welcome Kirk back to work.