Rand Paul undergoes lung surgery stemming from assault

FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) — U.S. Sen. Rand Paul underwent lung surgery in a procedure he says stems from injuries suffered when a neighbor tackled him outside his Kentucky home in 2017.

The Republican lawmaker and former presidential candidate tweeted Monday that part of his lung damaged in the assault was removed during the weekend surgery in Tennessee. The senator is continuing his recovery at home, a Paul spokeswoman said.

SEE ALSO: Rand Paul: Justin Amash is wrong about impeachment

"I will have to limit my August activities," the 56-year-old Paul said in the tweet, adding that he "should" be able to return to the Senate in September.

"Sen. Paul will need to recover from his surgery for a few weeks, which will limit his travel and events," his spokeswoman, Kelsey Cooper, said in a statement. "He will continue to work on diplomacy, legislative and constituent issues during that time."

Paul, an ally of President Donald Trump, was tapped for mediation efforts to potentially open a back channel for restarting nuclear talks between the U.S. and Iran.

Both of Kentucky's senators are laid up with health issues during Congress' August break.

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DES MOINES, IA - FEBRUARY 1: Senator Rand Paul (R-TX) speaks during a caucus day rally at his Des Moines headquarters on February 1, 2016 in Des Moines, Iowa. The Presidential hopeful was accompanied by his wife, Kelly, mother, Carol Wells and his father, former Congressman Ron Paul. Pauls were there to thank all the staff and volunteers for all their hard work in Iowa. (Photo by Pete Marovich/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - FEBRUARY 16: U.S. President Donald Trump, right, acknowledges US Senator Rand Paul (R-KY), left, prior to signing H.J. Res. 38, disapproving the rule submitted by the US Department of the Interior known as the Stream Protection Rule in the Roosevelt Room of the White House on February 16, 2017 in Washington, DC. The Department of Interior's Stream Protection Rule, which was signed during the final month of the Obama administration, 'addresses the impacts of surface coal mining operations on surface water, groundwater, and the productivity of mining operation sites,' according to the Congress.gov summary of the resolution. (Photo by Ron Sachs-Pool/Getty Images)
U.S. Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) and other members of the House Freedom Caucus hold a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S. March 7, 2017. REUTERS/Eric Thayer
Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) arrives for a classified briefing on the airstrikes launched against the Syrian military, at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, U.S., April 7, 2017. REUTERS/Aaron P. Bernstein
U.S. Republican presidential candidate and Rand Paul speaks at a campaign rally in the Olmsted Center at Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa, January 28, 2016. REUTERS/Brian C. Frank/File Photo
Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) and wife, Kelly, arrive on the red carpet for the annual White House Correspondents Association Dinner in Washington, U.S., April 30, 2016. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst
U.S. Republican presidential candidate Senator Rand Paul talks to supporters at a campaign stop at the National Sprint Car Hall of Fame and Museum in Knoxville, Iowa, January 29, 2016. REUTERS/Scott Morgan
Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) speaks to the media about repealing Obamacare after playing golf with U.S. President Donald Trump at the White House in Washington, U.S., April 2, 2017. REUTERS/Joshua Roberts
Republican U.S. presidential candidates (L-R) U.S. Senator Rand Paul, Governor Chris Christie, Dr. Ben Carson, Senator Ted Cruz, Senator Marco Rubio, former Governor Jeb Bush and Governor John Kasich pose together onstage at the start of the debate held by Fox News for the top 2016 U.S. Republican presidential candidates in Des Moines, Iowa January 28, 2016. REUTERS/Jim Young
U.S. Republican presidential candidate and U.S. Senator Rand Paul speaks at the New Hampshire GOP's FITN Presidential town hall in Nashua, New Hampshire January 23, 2016. REUTERS/Mary Schwalm
U.S. Republican presidential candidate Senator Rand Paul takes a photo with Scott Blum of Monroe, Iowa, after speaking at a campaign stop at the National Sprint Car Hall of Fame and Museum in Knoxville, Iowa, January 29, 2016. REUTERS/Scott Morgan
WASHINGTON, DC - MARCH 07: Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) (C) speaks about Obamacare repeal and replacement while flanked by members of the House Freedom Caucus, during a news conference on Capitol Hill, on March 7, 2017 in Washington, DC. The House of Representatives is currently working on a replacement for the Affordable Care Act. (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)
U.S. Republican presidential candidate Senator Rand Paul (R-TX) fires an AR-15 rifle at CrossRoads Shooting Sports in Johnston, Iowa, January 17, 2016. REUTERS/Aaron P. Bernstein
UNITED STATES - FEBRUARY 16: Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., attends a Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing in Dirksen Building featuring testimony by David Friedman, nominee to be U.S. Ambassador to Israel, February 16, 2017. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)
WASHINGTON, DC - JANUARY 19: Sen. Rand Paul and Kelley Paul attend the Capitol File 58th Presidential Inauguration Reception at Fiola Mare on January 19, 2017 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Paul Morigi/Getty Images for Capitol File Magazine)
UNITED STATES - FEBRUARY 15: Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., speaks during the House Freedom Caucus news conference on Affordable Care Act replacement legislation on Wednesday, Feb. 15, 2017. Behind Sen. Paul from left are Rep. Tom, Garrett, R-Va., Rep. Mark Sanford, R-S.C., Rep. Mark Meadows, R-N.C., and Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)
WASHINGTON, DC - SEPTEMBER 28: Kelley Paul and her husband, U.S. Senator Rand Paul, at the National Gallery of Art on September 28, 2016 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Shannon Finney/Getty Images)
UNITED STATES - AUGUST 6: Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) speaks at the annual Fancy Farm Picnic in Fancy Farm, Ky., on Saturday, Aug. 6, 2016. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)
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Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell suffered a shoulder fracture Sunday when tripping on his outdoor patio at his Louisville home. The 77-year-old Republican leader also is recovering and working from home.

Paul underwent the lung surgery at Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville, Tennessee. In his tweet, he thanked the doctors, nurses and staff.

It's his latest surgery for injuries suffered from being tackled by Rene Boucher when the neighbor became angry over lawn maintenance at Paul's home in Bowling Green, Kentucky. The assault broke several of Paul's ribs. Earlier this year, Paul had hernia surgery at a hospital in Canada.

Boucher pleaded guilty to assaulting a member of Congress and received a 30-day prison sentence. Federal prosecutors have appealed, saying 21 months would have been appropriate.

Paul sued Boucher, and a jury in Bowling Green awarded him more than $580,000 in damages and medical expenses. Boucher has since sold his home next door to the senator.

Paul testified during the civil trial that he feared for his life as he struggled to breathe after Boucher, an anesthesiologist by trade, slammed into him in their upscale Bowling Green neighborhood. Paul testified that he got off his riding mower to pick up a stick and was straightening up when Boucher hit him from behind. Paul said he was wearing noise-canceling headphones and didn't hear Boucher coming toward him.

Paul said that for a moment, he had a flashback to the 2017 shooting at a baseball field when members of Congress were practicing for a game. Rep. Steve Scalise of Louisiana suffered serious injuries in that shooting.

During his testimony, Boucher acknowledged he wasn't thinking rationally and called it "two minutes of my life I wish I could take back."

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