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Chattanooga's District 9 residents have gone unrepresented on the City Council for nearly two months, but Councilman Yusuf Hakeem says he'll be back on the dais soon.

Hakeem has been absent from council meetings since June 30, missing four meetings in July and two so far in August, according to Council Clerk Nicole Gwyn.

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Chattanooga City Council member Yusuf Hakeem speaks in a meeting in this Aug. 12, 2014, photo.

The Chattanooga Charter states that any council member absent for three months of consecutive meetings "without proper and reasonable" explanation can be removed from his or her post by the rest of the council, according to City Attorney Wade Hinton.

But Hakeem said Monday he plans to return in September. He underwent back surgery on July 5, he said.

"You know, I ended up either being in the hospital or in rehab since that time. I'm in out-patient rehab now. If my doctor approves, my intent is to be at the meeting either the first or second Tuesday of next month," Hakeem said.

Hakeem said the long hiatus after the surgery was expected.

District 9 encompasses parts of East Chattanooga, Eastdale, Glenwood, Missionary Ridge and Ridgedale.

Hakeem first represented District 9 for five terms in 1990. He resigned in 2006 after then Gov. Phil Bredesen appointed him to the Tennessee Board of Probation and Parole. He returned to the council after being re-elected in 2013.

Contact staff writer Louie Brogdon at lbrogdon@timesfreepress.com, @glbrogdoniv on Twitter or at 423-757-6481.

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