Al Roker Was Back On The Today Show And Explained Why He Won't Be Back For Awhile

The Today Show has been without Al Roker for a little while now, as the beloved TV weatherman has been dealing with health issues as of late. Reports and updates have suggested that Roker’s situation is quite serious, though he thankfully seems to be making progress. It was confirmed a few days ago that the 68-year-old media personality would be returning home following a second hospital stint. And this morning, to the delight of his co-hosts and fans, Roker appeared on the telecast to provide clarity on his status. In the process though, he also explained why he won’t be back on the air for some time.

Al Roker, while recuperating at his home, appeared on Monday’s edition of Today via Zoom. The host, who’s now sporting a salt-and-pepper mustache, seemed as jovial as ever. After exchanging pleasantries with Hoda Kotb, Savannah Gunthrie and his other colleagues, Roker began to open up about being hospitalized for weeks. While the host is in good spirits, he’s still on the road to recovery, and he explained what his rehab entails: 

You lose a certain amount of muscle mass for every week you’re in the hospital, and I was in the hospital for four weeks. It’s just a certain amount of weakness. I’m doing physical therapy every day, occupational therapy. I’ve got to just get my strength back. I’ve got a number of issues, but I feel good, I feel strong, and every day I feel a little bit better. I made dinner last night. I just feel like this is going to be a little bit of a slog, but there are a lot of people who have to deal with a lot more with a lot fewer resources. So I'm very fortunate and very blessed to be able to have the resources I have with a team led by Dr. Jay Raman and all the wonderful nurses and medical staff at New York Presbyterian Hospital. They were terrific.

In November, Al Roker was hospitalized and later revealed that he was dealing with blood clots in his legs and lungs. He was eventually released just in time to spend Thanksgiving with his family at home. Unfortunately, Roker was rushed back to the hospital at the end of that same month for an undisclosed reason. He confirmed his return home from that stay on December 8. 

The seasoned journalist, who battled COVID and was diagnosed with cancer just a few years ago, certainly isn’t sugarcoating his situation. Still, above all else, he seems incredibly thankful for the medical assistance that he’s received during this time. He also has nothing but love for his co-hosts, who’ve shown support for him every step of the way:

You guys have been terrific coming by the hospital. Hoda (Kotb) was actually, I think, named as an honorary doctor. She would literally show up. She did a 'Ho-dini,' the way she would just be there.

It’s been somewhat odd not seeing Al Roker on Today over the past several weeks, especially since he’s been a mainstay of the show decades now. Because of his illness, Roker had to miss his first Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in 27 years. (Though his colleagues did find a sweet way to honor him during the annual event.) He was also unable to attend to the lighting of the Christmas tree in Rockefeller Center. 

One would imagine that Al Roker’s fellow TV presenters are eager to have him back. Just recently, Carson Daly even shared a funny take on why he might want to return sooner rather than later. But in all seriousness, what’s most important now is that Roker is home with his loved ones and getting the care that he needs. We here at CinemaBlend wish him all the best as he continues to rest up.

Erik Swann
Senior Content Producer

Erik Swann is a Senior Content Producer at CinemaBlend. He began working with the publication in 2020 when he was hired as Weekend Editor. Today, he continues to write, edit and handle social media responsibilities over the weekend. On weekdays, he also writes TV and movie-related news and helps out with editing and social media as needed. He graduated from the University of Maryland, where he received a degree in Broadcast Journalism. After shifting into multi-platform journalism, he started working as a freelance writer and editor before joining CB. Covers superheroes, sci-fi, comedy, and almost anything else in film and TV. He eats more pizza than the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.