Al Roker returns to ‘Today’ after struggle with blood clots

"Al is the lifeblood of this show, he's the heartbeat," said co-host Savannah Guthrie, calling Roker "the Energizer Bunny."

Al Roker returned to “Today” on Friday following his health battle with blood clots. 

“Al is the lifeblood of this show, he’s the heartbeat. I mean, it just doesn’t work without Al. We love him so much, we miss him so much,” co-host Savannah Guthrie recently shared with Entertainment Tonight, People reports.

Al Roker attends the opening night of “Burn This” at Hudson Theatre last April in New York City. Roker, a longtime “Today” personality, has been diagnosed with prostate cancer. (Photo by Mike Coppola/Getty Images)

“He went through this period that was difficult and he did it in his trademark way where he’s always smiling, always upbeat, and he is roaring to come back,” she added. 

Roker, 68, was hospitalized twice late last year due to complications with blood clots, theGrio reported. 

Once the beloved weatherman was discharged and settled back at home, he shared a family photo in an update with his Instagram followers, People reported. One photograph shows him in a loving embrace with his wife, Deborah Roberts, and another with their daughter, Leila.

“Home! So incredibly grateful to family, friends, medical folks, @todayshow family and all your thoughts and prayers,” Roker captioned the IG post, according to People.

Speaking to Entertainment Tonight, Guthrie said her colleague is ready to reunite with his “Today” show family. 

“I hope he takes as much time as he wants to,” she said. “But I think he’s really excited to come back to work, and we’re excited to have him.”

Kotb told the entertainment news outlet that Roker “never complains about anything,” so he is expected to return to the studio on Jan. 6 “on his feet” and “strong again,” she added.

“We’ve seen Al go through everything. He’s never out. He never takes time,” Kotb continued. “The fact that he took time meant that he needed it and now his moment is here. We’re ready. The crowd’s ready.”

Roker last appeared on the Nov. 4 “Today” broadcast. 

As theGrio reported earlier, Roker revealed on Instagram on Nov. 18 that was hospitalized earlier in the month and was receiving treatment for blood clots. He was admitted to the hospital for a second time, just one day after being released on Thanksgiving.

Roker missed the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade for the first time in 27 years due to his health. During his absence from “Today,” he made a virtual appearance on the long-running daytime news program to share an update with viewers. 

“It’s been a tough slog, I’m not going to deny this,” Roker said on Dec. 12. “This has been the hardest one yet — and you know, I’ve had my fair share of surgeries. But 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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