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MSNBC's Hardball with Chris Matthews has been missing its host since October 4. Now we know why. Hardball fill-in host Steve Kornacki revealed Chris Matthews, age 73, is currently recovering from prostate cancer surgery and it's unknown exactly when he'll return to the show.

Before we go tonight, Chris hasn’t been here the last few nights and he wanted to let you know why. Chris is recovering from prostate cancer surgery last week. The procedure went well, but he’s taking a few days to get back into fighting shape. I know he’s looking forward to getting back very soon.

Watch the update for Hardball viewers, which aired at the end of October 14's 7 p.m. ET broadcast:

The title of Hardball derives from Chris Matthews's 1988 book, "Hardball: How Politics Is Played, Told by One Who Knows the Game." He's been hosting the political talk show for 25 years, with the last 20 on MSNBC.

The Philadelphia Inquirer dug into Chris Matthews' potential recovery time, based on an area oncologist's estimates for prostate cancer. According to Alex Kutikov, a urologic oncologist at Fox Chase Cancer Center, most men take six to eight weeks to recover from the removal of the prostate gland, aka a "radical prostatectomy."

However, there's good news on the survival rate. As the Inquirer quoted the American Cancer Society, the five-year survival rate for men whose cancer has not spread to distant parts of the body is almost 100%.

So here's hoping Chris Matthews has a full recovery and returns to work -- or whatever he feels like doing next -- as soon as possible.

This has been an interesting time for TV news and talk shows in general. You probably saw that Shepard Smith just made an abrupt departure from Fox News, and the network already has a plan for how to fill his shoes. The A-list Fox News movie Bombshell arrives in theaters in December.

Just a couple of months ago, Nancy O'Dell made a surprise departure from ET. Sara Gilbert had just said her own tearful goodbye from The View. Back in April, Kathie Lee Gifford left the Today show after 11 years as co-host with Hoda Kotb. Matt Lauer is long gone from Today but his legacy is getting more tarnished every day.

Mario Lopez announced he was leaving Extra and heading over to Access Hollywood. Meanwhile, Billy Bush just replaced Lopez at Extra after his own infamous Donald Trump interview for Access Hollywood. And longtime Extra host A.J. Calloway recently exited the show after sexual misconduct allegations.

As Hardball viewers wait for an official update on Chris Matthews' return, keep up with everything still airing on TV this year with our handy 2019 fall TV premiere schedule.

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