North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum injured, status for GOP debate unclear, campaign says

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(NORTH DAKOTA) — North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum was taken to the emergency room Tuesday night after injuring his leg playing pickup basketball with his staff, and his campaign said his status for Wednesday night’s GOP debate was unclear.

Burgum’s spokesperson, Lance Trover, speaking on ABC News Live late Wednesday morning, said whether Burgum takes the stage for the primary showdown “still remains to be seen.”

He said Burgum intends to participate in the candidate walk-through to review the stage setup Wednesday afternoon and make an assessment shortly after.

“We’re hopefully going to make the walk-through this afternoon and then make an assessment and decide than whether he is going to make the debate tonight,” Trover said.

When pressed by ABC News anchor Diane Macedo if Burgum could still participate even if he can’t physically stand, Trover said that’s a question Burgum needs to decide after the walkthrough.

“Obviously, standing two hours when your leg has been injured could be quite problematic,” Trover said.

Burgum tweeted about noon Wednesday, “I’ve played lots of pick-up games in my day! This isn’t the first time one has sent me to the ER. Appreciate all the well-wishes!”

According to the campaign, Burgum has a high-grade tear of the Achilles tendon and will make a trip to an orthopedist Wednesday afternoon. The appointment will help determine if he is able to stand on his left leg for two hours during the debate, his campaign said.

Basketball is Burgum’s form of stress relief, he said, adding Burgum was hurt while making a shot.

“Obviously, everybody has a different way to relieve themselves stress. So, the governor is an all-conference basketball player in high school, a track runner. He’s a very active person. He’s on the ranch in North Dakota all the time. So, he went out to play some basketball, a pickup game with some of the staff members and some of his family. Last night, went up for a shot, came down and kind of injured his leg and had to go the hospital,” he said.

Burgum is one of eight GOP hopefuls set to take the stage in Milwaukee.

The news of Burgum’s injury was reported by CNN.

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