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Gov. Pritzker: Fractured leg ‘had become very painful’

SNEED EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW: “I guess this is a function of what everybody was telling me to do when I was running for office, ‘Go break a leg!’” the governor said.

Gov. J.B. Pritzker waves while walking in the Illinois State Fair’s Twilight Parade in Springfield in 2019.
Gov. J.B. Pritzker waves while walking in the Illinois State Fair Twilight Parade on Aug. 8, 2019, in Springfield.
AP

Break a leg!

He did.

They were supposed to be well wishes for good luck during the campaign. But as it turns out, Gov. J.B. Pritzker — who confirmed Thursday he fractured the femur in his left leg — might have taken the messages a little too literally!

“I guess this is a function of what everybody was telling me to do when I was running for office, ‘Go break a leg!’” the governor told Sneed in an exclusive interview Thursday afternoon.

Pritzker doesn’t know how the injury happened. He just knows he attended countless public events over the last several weeks, like the Illinois State Fair — requiring lots of standing for long periods. And while walking long distances, it flared up.

“I started to feel the pain a few weeks ago,” he said in our phone interview. “I kept doing my job anyway, but I finally had to see a doctor because the pain was getting worse.”

How bad was it?

“It had become very painful,” he said.

The doctors initially thought it could be a problem with his knee.

“However, a few days later an MRI confirmed it was a hairline fracture and I was advised to stay off of it,” Pritzker said.

The upshot: He is under doctor’s orders to rest and recover for the next four to six weeks.

It’s a safe bet that he will not be going to Springfield anytime soon, but he does plan to go to his Chicago office during the healing process.

“I just have to keep weight and pressure off my leg. I still have mobility of my joint, which is not an issue,” he said.

He tells Sneed: “I’m going to follow the doctor’s orders, but it will give me a chance to do something I’ve wanted to do during the past 7 1⁄2 months in office: reach out and speak with people, which I’m less likely to do at an event. This way [via phone] I can actually reach out to people and get deeper input.”

In other words: The governor still intends to “get a lot done” and will “travel a bit.” He does plan to go to the Capitol for the fall veto session in October.

“There will be no boot or cast. But I’ve got crutches and I can assure you my staff will continue to suffer a never-ending work cycle,” he said.

Said a source: “He’ll be receiving frequent daily updates from his staff and agency heads and be fully engaged in conducting the business of state.”

The good news: He has been told his injury will not require surgery.

“Otherwise I’m in good physical health,” he said.

Follow the doctor’s orders, J.B.! And enjoy a little family time. Sneed checked your work schedule and you’ve been one busy fella.