September 20, 2023

‘We make use of it’

Nathan Congleton/TODAY Al Roker

Nathan Congleton/TODAY Al Roker

Al Roker returned to the Today show on Tuesday, for his first show since undergoing knee surgery.

The longtime weatherman — who has been a staple of the NBC morning program since 1996 — was back in front of the weather board, reporting on national temperatures as usual.

“Look who’s here! Mr. Roker, we’re so glad to have you back in our studio,” Today co-anchor Savannah Guthrie said at the start of the show before joking, “You’ve got a familiar knee! Does it still smell like that new knee?”

“I don’t want to go there,” Roker teased, dressed in a tan suit. “We use it. … It’s all good, all good.”

“We’re so glad you’re back, Al,” added co-anchor Hoda Kotb.

“Good to see you, good to see you,” Roker said.

Related: Al Roker surprises his ‘Today’; Colleagues live with early return after knee surgery

Related: Al Roker Gives Recovery Update After Knee Replacement Surgery: ‘This One Is A Little More Complicated’

Roker, 68, underwent surgery on May 9 to repair his left knee.

This one is a bit more complicated because it’s what they call an overhaul; it was a substitution of a substitution, so they had to take things out, put things in, so it was a bit of a bear,” Roker explained on May 15, while giving an update on his health in a virtual appearance on Today. “So we just hung out. Chilling, doing nothing – which I know a lot of people find hard to believe, but in fact it is.”

At the time, Roker said he still had some work to do before returning Todayincluding “three days a week of physical rehabilitation that will last a few months.”

“I still don’t know, I hope, maybe sometime in the next two weeks to be back,” Roker said. “We’ll just play it by ear every day. … I know I won’t be back until I have to.”

Related: Al Roker shares a video of him moving around the hospital 1 day after knee replacement surgery: ‘Up and Walking’

His wife, Deborah Roberts, spoke more about Roker’s condition on Instagram on May 21, where she told her followers that Roker is “doing pretty well, but going a little slow.”

“It makes it slow, it makes it a little harder,” she added. “It was a tougher surgery, so it’s a little harder to come back on, but he’s doing pretty well. He’s moving a little bit slowly.”

The journalist also commented on Roker’s return to Todayadding, “Al is chewing the bit to try and get back to work, but the doctor just wants him to take it easy so he can continue to heal properly.”

Related: Al Roker Takes Time Off for Knee Replacement Surgery, Enjoyed a ‘Last Walk’ Before the Procedure

This was Roker’s second knee replacement surgery. The first was in April 2022, while the second had to be postponed when Roker was hospitalized due to blood clots in his leg and lungs.

He was out of work for two months after the health scare, before returning to Today early January. “Look, I had two complicated things,” Roker said Than. “I had blood clots, which they think came on after I had COVID in September. And then I had internal bleeding, I lost half my blood. They were trying to figure out where it was.”

Smoker was treated at New York-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medical Center. Through surgery, his medical team discovered he had two bleeding ulcers. Doctors resected his colon, removed his gallbladder and operated on his duodenum, part of the small intestine.

“I went for one surgery, I got four for free,” Roker joked. “So I did that for me.”

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Meanwhile, Monday wasn’t the first time Roker had been around him Today colleagues since his knee surgery. He didn’t just make a surprise appearance on May 25 3rd hour of today — to drop by his co-hosts Sheinelle Jones, Craig Melvin, and Dylan Dreyer — but he also collected with the full Today family later that day for a photo shoot.

“Talk about what the doctor ordered,” Roker wrote on Instagram, captioning a series of photos from the event that also featured Willie Geist, Jenna Bush Hager, Kristen Welker, Peter Alexander and Carson Daly. “My see Today friends…for a fun shoot today was soooo much fun.”

Smoker has been Today‘s first weather anchor since 1996, and previously acted as a deputy weather reader from 1990 to 1995, filling in for the late Willard Scott before retiring.

“We are family,” he added in hashtag, also including the 1979 song Sister Sledge in his post.

Today airs weekdays begging at 7 p.m. ET on NBC.

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