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Jarrett returning to work after surgery

Top presidential adviser Valerie Jarrett recently underwent surgery in Chicago for a degenerative spine condition and will return to Washington on Monday, according to a White House official.

“Last Monday, Valerie Jarrett was treated for cervical spine stenosis and underwent surgery related to this condition in Chicago,” the official said. “She is thankful for the great care of her doctors and will return to Washington with the President Monday evening to continue her recovery.”

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Jarrett will travel with President Obama aboard Air Force One, the official added.

She has been participating in some administration meetings by phone and is expected to return full time to work “in the near future.”

“Valerie is making progress every day,” the official said.

Cervical spine stenosis results from a compression of the nerves in the spinal column that can cause numbness, tingling or pain in the arms, hands, and legs, according to the University of Maryland Medical Center.

Jarrett, who oversees the White House offices of public engagement and intergovernmental affairs, is among the president’s closest confidants and best friends. Her ties to the Obamas date back to when she hired first lady Michelle Obama to join the administration of Chicago Mayor Richard Daley.

“She’s someone I trust completely,” Obama once told the New York Times

“She’s family — she combines the closeness of a family member with the savvy and objectivity of a professional businesswoman and public-policy expert. And that’s a rare combination to have,” he added.

News of Jarrett’s surgery was first reported by Politico.