ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) - Alaska Sen. Lisa Murkowski suffered a
serious knee injury while skiing and will be confined to a
wheelchair for several days, her aide said Tuesday.
The 51-year-old Republican senator tore two ligaments and
cartilage in her left knee and underwent an MRI exam in Washington
on Tuesday, said her spokesman Mike Brumas.
"She's bruised and a little battered," he said. "Otherwise,
Brumas said Murkowski was an expert skier but "lost her
traction" while skiing Sunday on Alaska's Mount Alyeska. The ski
patrol said she tumbled as far as 300 feet at the Alyeska Ski
Resort south of Anchorage.
Ben Habecker, a member of the patrol, said she was relatively
unscathed because "there were no obstacles, and she tumbled
He said the senator had been skiing with two male companions on
the second hardest of four difficulty levels when she fell near the
midway point of the 3,939-foot mountain. Brumas said the three were
part of a larger group of friends skiing Sunday.
Murkowski returned to Washington on Sunday night and was able to
cast votes in the Senate on Monday, Brumas said.
Murkowski was appointed to the Senate in 2002 by her father,
Frank Murkowski, who held the seat for more than two decades before
he was elected governor of Alaska. She won election two years
She became the state's senior senator after the failed
re-election bid of Ted Stevens last fall following his conviction
on federal corruption charges.
U.S. Rep. Sonny Bono died in January 1998 when he slammed into a
tree while skiing at the Heavenly Ski Resort on the
Nevada-California state line. Extreme skier John Nicoletta, of
Aspen, died in April when he tumbled onto rocks during a skiing
competition at Alyeska.