Defense Secretary Gates Slips, Breaks Shoulder, Misses Congressional Hearing

Defense Secretary Robert Gates missed a hearing on Capitol Hill Wednesday after he slipped on ice and broke his shoulder Tuesday night.

An ice storm hit the Washington, D.C., region Tuesday, causing slick sidewalks, stairs and roads, making road and pedestrian travel treacherous through Wednesday morning.

The House Appropriations subcommittee hearing is expected to go on with Gates' deputy, Gorden England, and a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing on veterans care will be led by Army Secretary Pete Geren.

"Secretary Robert Gates will not appear before the House Appropriations Committee as originally scheduled today due to a fracture to his right shoulder sustained when he slipped on some ice," Pentagon spokesman Bryan Whitman said in an e-mailed response to FOX News.

"Secretary Gates has been examined by a physician and is receiving treatment for this injury. He continues to perform all other duties and responsibilities of his position," Whitman added.

Pentagon officials said he didn't immediately seek treatment of the injury Tuesday, but realized the extent of the injury Wednesday, and was seen at Bethesda Naval Medical Center.

Gates suffered a fracture of his upper right humerus and has been fitted with a sling, Gates spokesman Geoff Morrell said.

"Fortunately, it does not appear as though his injury will require surgery," the spokesman added.

FOX News Trish Turner, Chad Pergram and Jennifer Griffin and The Associated Press contributed to this report.