Former Defense Secretary Robert Gates is playing hurt as he plans his book tour for later this month.
Gates, age 70, is wearing a neck brace after fracturing a vertebrae during a New Year's Day fall at his home in Seattle, Wash.
This less than two weeks before the Jan. 14 publication of Gates' book, Duty: Memoirs of a Secretary at War.
Gates' office said he still plans to promote the book in a series of appearances.
Veterans of the Barack Obama and George W. Bush presidencies are waiting to see what Gates has to say. Gates led the Pentagon during both administrations, amid controversies over Iraq, Afghanistan, and the war on terrorism.