SAN JOSE — The mayor of San Jose smiled and expressed gratitude during his first media appearance since he was hit by a car while riding his bicycle on New Year’s Day.

A nurse wheeled Mayor Sam Liccardo into the lobby of Regional Medical Center, in San Jose, where reporters were waiting Wednesday afternoon.

He wore an elaborate back brace and seemed to be in some discomfort as he rose from the wheelchair to stand and speak.

“The good news is, you can tell I’m walking and I feel very, very fortunate to be walking,” he said.

The mayor suffered some fairly serious injuries when his bicycle was hit by a car near San Jose’s East foothills. He broke his collar bone, his sternum and a couple of bones in his back.

Earlier on Wednesday, Mayor Liccardo tweeted a photo of himself in a hospital gown and back brace, walking down the hallway of the hospital.
 

He wrote he “felt blessed to be able to walk on the hospital floor today with the help of the great folks at Regional Medical Center… the prognosis is good…” and thanked the neighbors, firefighters, police and paramedics who “magnanimously helped” after he was hit.

Liccardo will be wearing the back brace for several weeks.

At the press conference, the mayor’s tone was upbeat. He smiled and thanked everyone who helped him after the accident, in both English and Spanish.

“I am accompanied by a little friend here,” he said. “This brace is going to keep me — it’s going to accompany me for the next 4 to 6 weeks because I’ve got a couple of fractured vertebrae and a fractured sternum. So this will help me heal.”

“The good news is, as you can tell, I’m walking and I feel very, very fortunate to be walking because of the incredible care I had here.”

The mayor was discharged later, Wednesday.

He said he will be recovering from home for the next few days, and added, smiling, it will be a few weeks before he rides his bike again.

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