Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R., Utah) is taking a leave of absence from Congress to undergo "immediate" foot surgery and is expected to return in mid-May.
Chaffetz, chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, shared a photo to his Instagram on Wednesday showing an x-ray of a previously repaired broken foot with 14 screws and a metal plate in it, Politico reported.
The lawmaker said doctors are now recommending that he have the hardware removed or "be at risk for serious infection." Chaffetz originally sustained the injury falling off a ladder nearly 12 years ago.
"I'm sorry to miss the important work we are doing in Washington," Chaffetz wrote. "This is not an opportune time to be away, but medical emergencies are never convenient. I appreciate my constituents' patience and understanding as I take time to recover."
Chaffetz's departure comes as pressing legislation faces the Republican-controlled House, including a vote on a funding bill to stave off a government shutdown, and a possible Obamacare replacement plan, which may pit GOP moderates against more conservative representatives, like those in the House Freedom Caucus.
The Utah congressman predicted that recovery from the surgery will take three to four weeks. Chaffetz told Politico that he plans to fly home on Thursday and expects to return to his seat after the end of the May recess.
Chaffetz announced last week that he will not be seeking reelection to his House seat in 2018, citing a wish to spend more time with his family. Reports have suggested that Chaffetz is considering leaving Congress before his term expires in 2018.