© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: U.S. Senator John Fetterman (D-PA), leaves a classified briefing for U.S. Senators about the latest unknown objects shot down by the U.S. military, on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S., February 14, 2023. Senator Fetterman checked into a Washin

By Kanishka Singh

WASHINGTON (Reuters) -Democratic U.S. Senator John Fetterman plans to return to the Senate the week of April 17 after a weeks-long treatment for depression, a source familiar with the situation told Reuters on Wednesday.

In an update issued in late February, Fetterman’s office said he was doing well and remained on a path to recovery.

The return of Fetterman, who flipped a Republican-held seat in last November’s midterm elections, will be good news for Democrats, who hold a narrow 51-49 majority in the Senate.

Politico first reported Fetterman’s plans to return.

Fetterman had checked into a Washington-area hospital for treatment for clinical depression in mid-February. He had also suffered a near-fatal stroke months before his election win.

Known for his large tattooed frame, goatee and penchant for hoodies and shorts, Fetterman gained a national profile for his progressive positions. The former Pennsylvania lieutenant governor beat Republican celebrity doctor Mehmet Oz by a large margin in November’s elections to replace former Republican Senator Pat Toomey, who retired.

Fetterman, who suffered a stroke last May and later acknowledged he had “almost died,” has faced challenges adjusting to life in the Senate during his recovery.

Since the stroke, he has suffered lingering problems with his ability to speak and to process the speech he hears. As a result, he used monitors that provide audio-to-text transcription, according to a New York Times report in February.

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