Al Be Back! Al Roker Returns to ‘Today’ Friday Following Weeks of Hospitalization
After an extended absence, Today‘s veteran weatherman Al Roker is reuniting with his co-stars.
The 68-year-old television personality, who has been off the air since mid-November, will be back for scheduled programming Friday, Today reported. His highly-anticipated comeback comes weeks after he revealed that he was hospitalized for blood clots in his legs and lungs.
Roker had missed his first Macy’s Thanksgiving parade in 27 years due to his hospitalization, but he made it home just in time to spend the holiday with his family, BLACK ENTERPRISE previously reported.
His homecoming was short-lived: Roker was rushed back to the hospital the day after Thanksgiving.
The second hospital stay caused Roker to miss another tradition last month: the annual lighting of the Rockefeller Center Christmas tree.
On Dec. 8, the NBC anchor shared a positive update via Instagram: he was out of the hospital once again. According to People, Roker shared that he was doing physical and occupational therapy every day in response to his four-week hospital stay. He also wants to get his knee replaced at some point.
“Listen, it’s been a tough slog. I’m not going to deny this,” Roker revealed in a Dec. 12 video call appearance on Today.
“It’s been the hardest one yet, and you know I’ve had my share of surgeries. It gives you a profound sense of gratitude for this outpouring of prayers and thanks. I’m a very fortunate person.”
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Though he missed out on a New York City Christmas custom, Roker was surprised by members of the Today staff with a serenade of carols at his home. Footage of the heartwarming moment was aired on Today, showing his colleagues singing holiday classics like “Jingle Bells” and a special version of “I’ll Be Home for Christmas,” written as “Al Be Home for Christmas,” BLACK ENTERPRISE reported.
Roker’s recovery has been accompanied by a very festive holiday season thus far with his wife, Deborah Roberts, and daughters Courtney, 35, and Leila, 24, as well as son Nick, 20. On Christmas Day, the longtime journalist posted an adorable photo of him and his family gathered around the table in matching green pajama sets.