WASHINGTON — A group of House Republicans got a surprise pep talk Monday from their missing man: Majority Whip Steve Scalise, R-La., who continues to recover from a gunshot wound suffered in last month’s baseball-practice shooting.

Scalise called in to the weekly Republican whip team meeting Monday evening and, according to several attendees, shared encouraging news: He has started the physical recovery process and could be transferred soon from Washington Hospital Center, where he has been hospitalized since the June 14 shooting, to a specialized rehabilitation facility.

There was no word on when Scalise might return to work. A spokesman, Chris Bond, said Scalise told the whips “he is looking forward to working through the rehab process and returning to the Capitol once he is ready.”

Scalise has undergone a series of operations to address the wound to his hip, most recently a July 13 surgery to address a “deep tissue infection.” Doctors at that time said he remained in fair condition.

“It was absolutely awesome,” said Rep. Markwayne Mullin, R-Okla., a deputy whip. “It sounded like Steve – always the entertainer, always the encourager. He sounded great. He can’t wait to get back with us is what he said.”

Scalise’s call came on the same day the House passed the Wounded Officers Recovery Act, a bill allowing payments to seriously wounded Capitol Police officers from a fund currently intended for the families of officers killed in the line of duty.

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