U.S. Rep. Elijah E. Cummings, the Baltimore Democrat who was hospitalized in late December for a knee infection, said Monday he hopes to be finished with his recovery in the next two weeks.

“It’s going real well,” Cummings told The Baltimore Sun in a phone interview. “Recovery is expected to be full.”


Cummings, 67, said he suffered from a ruptured Baker’s cyst in his left knee that became infected. Doctors had to operate twice on the knee, he said.

Cummings has been hit with a series of health problems over the past year. He underwent a minimally invasive heart procedure in May, which led to an infection that kept him in the hospital longer than expected.

The same day his wife, Maya Rockeymoore Cummings, decided to drop out of the race for Maryland’s Democratic gubernatorial nomination earlier this month, his office said he had been hospitalized for a knee infection.

Cummings said he doesn’t believe the trouble with his knee is related to the earlier heart procedure.

Knee infection patients often must receive antibiotics intravenously while undergoing rehabilitation, and Cummings said that is true in his case.

“My day consists of usually about four and a half hours of therapy,” he said. “There’s a lot of pain associated with this thing.”

It was not immediately clear when Cummings would return to Capitol Hill, and his post as the ranking Democrat on the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee. Aides said he continues to communicate with lawmakers on committee business, and his office has sent out a barrage of news releases, letters and social media posts in recent weeks.

Baltimore Democrat Maya Rockeymoore Cummings announced Friday morning she's dropping out of the crowded primary race for governor "due to personal considerations." Friday afternoon, her husband U.S. Elijah Cummings' staff said the congressman was hospitalized in the latest of health setbacks.

As he has in the past, Cummings dismissed questions about whether he would run for reelection this year, and whether he would retain his spot on the committee. If Democrats take control of the House in this year’s midterm elections, Cummings would have an elevated position from which to run investigations into the Trump administration.

“Yeah, man,” Cummings said when asked whether he would run re-election. “Yeah.”

In a separate statement Monday, Cummings thanked his doctors and nurses and said he is “extremely eager to return to Capitol Hill upon receipt of my doctors’ consent.”

Cummings was especially eager Monday to discuss President Donald J. Trump’s State of the Union address set for Tuesday.

“It’s going to be very hard to him to convince people that he’s sincere about unifying the country,” said Cummings, who’s had an occasionally stormy history with the president. “I don’t have a lot of high expectations.”