Johnson said Tuesday his doctor is allowing him to go back to South Dakota.
WASHINGTON (CNN) – Still recovering from a brain hemorrhage last December, Sen. Tim Johnson, D-South Dakota, announced Monday that he's finally returning to South Dakota at the end of the month.
"The doctors have given me a ‘thumbs up’, and Barb and I are incredibly excited to head home. We have missed our friends and family and cannot wait to meet our two new grandchildren,” Johnson said in a statement. "I know my return has taken longer than some people have liked - count me among them."
Since being released from the hospital, Johnson has been recuperating at his northern Virginia home. In his statement, he said that he is "eternally grateful" to his doctors and nurses and thanked the people of South Dakota for their support.
In the days immediately following Johnson's hemorrhage, the balance of power in the Senate was thrown into question. If Johnson hadn't been able to complete his term, South Dakota Gov. Mike Rounds, a Republican, would likely have appointed someone from the GOP to take his place. Such a move would have taken control away from the Democrats by virtue of Vice President Cheney’s tie-breaking vote.
- CNN Associate Producer Lauren Kornreich