Hillary Clinton helmet joke: State Department gives gag football helmet gift to Clinton on first day

Who says politics and diplomacy aren't contact sports?

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton returned to work Monday and was gifted the proper equipment for her final plays on the job.

Her Deputy Secretary of State Thomas Nides and staff at the weekly meeting of approximately 75 department managers presented her "a football helmet with a State Department seal, lots of good padding," State Department Spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said.

Reporters were not in the room, but the presentation was described by Nuland at a press briefing Monday afternoon, and the department distributed photos of her opening the gifts.

Clinton had been on team State Department's "injured" list after a bout with the flu, which led to a fall, concussion, and the discovery of a blood clot in her head, according to her office.

She was also given a "football jersey that said Clinton on the back and on the front it says '#112,' which symbolizes the number of countries she visited as secretary of state," Nuland said.

"She loved it," Nuland added. "She thought it was cool. But then being Hillary Clinton she wanted to get right to business."

On Friday, department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland described Clinton's condition after her release as "upbeat" and "raring to go."

Clinton will leave her post as secretary of state once her replacement for the post is confirmed by the Senate. President Obama announced his nomination of Massachusetts Sen. John Kerry for the post late last year.