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Reid to miss Dem retreat due to vision loss

Senate Minority Leader Harry ReidHarry Mason ReidDemocrats to boycott committee vote on Amy Coney Barrett's Supreme Court nomination Durbin says he will run for No. 2 spot if Dems win Senate majority Democrats seem unlikely to move against Feinstein MORE (D-Nev.) will miss the Senate Democratic retreat in Baltimore next week after suffering partial vision loss in an accident earlier this month. 

Reid broke bones around his eye when an exercise band he was using at home snapped and hit him in the face and sent him reeling into several cabinets. He also broke four ribs.

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Accumulated blood in and around his eye has obscured the problem that has caused his vision loss, and doctors have warned him that driving to Baltimore could risk his recovery, ordering him to stay in Washington. He faces the scary prospect of permanent vision loss in his right eye. 

The retreat, where Senate Democrats plan to discuss legislative and political strategies for 2015, will take place Wednesday and Thursday. 

“They didn’t want me driving over there because of bumps in the road. I’m basically working from home,” Reid told KNPR, the Nevada public radio station.

Reid said he’s been in contact with the No. 2 and 3-ranking Democratic leaders — Dick Durbin (Ill.), whip, and Chuck Schumer (N.Y.), Democratic Policy Committee chairman — about running the retreat in his absence.

“I think I’ve done a good job of directing my crew without my being physically present in the Capitol,” he said.

Reid said doctors are hopeful that he’ll recover vision but have not made any promises.

“This isn’t anything that is a slam dunk. I had a serious injury in my eye, there’s some blood accumulation there and they’re hoping that resolves itself,” he said.

He said doctors are unable to diagnose what has caused his vision loss because of clotting.

“As long as the blood is in the eye, it’s hard to see the eye,” he said. “They’re hopeful and I’m following their orders.”

Reid said the injury has forced him to rely on his staff to read emails and memos because doctors have warned him not to stress his healthy left eye.

"I'm not to be reading a bunch of emails and stuff like that," he said. "If you overwork the good eye, it puts too much pressure on the bad eye. They've told me to be very careful in how I strain my eye."

Reid said he's not allowed to exercise vigorously for the foreseeable future although he may still walk.