“We put it to good use”

Nathan Congleton / TODAY Al Roker

Nathan Congleton / TODAY Al Roker

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

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

“Look who’s there! Mr. Roker, we’re so happy to have you back in our studio.” Today Co-host Savannah Guthrie said at the top of the show before joking, “You got a known brand knee! Does it still have that new knee smell?”

“I don’t want to go,” teased Roker, dressed in a light beige suit. “We’re using it. … It’s okay, it’s okay.”

“We are so happy to see you again, Al,” co-anchor Hoda Kotb added.

“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 Provides Knee Replacement Recovery Update: ‘This One’s A Little More Complicated’

Roker, 68, went under the knife to repair his left knee on May 9.

This one is a bit more complicated because that’s what they call a review; it was a replacement of a substitute so they had to take stuff out, put stuff in, so it was a bit of a bear,” Roker explained on May 15, while giving an update on his health during a virtual appearance on Today. “So we just hung out. Relaxing, 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 work to do before returning to Todayincluding “three days a week of physical rehabilitation that will last a few months”.

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

Related: Al Roker Shares Video of Him Moving Around Hospital 1 Day After Knee Replacement Surgery: ‘Standing 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 moving a little slow.”

“It slows things down, it makes them a little more difficult,” she added. “It was a more difficult operation, so it’s a bit more difficult to come back, but he’s doing quite well, moving a bit slowly.”

The reporter also commented on Roker’s return to Todayadding: “Al is chomping at the bit trying to get back to work, but the doctor just wants him to take it slow so he can continue to heal well.”

Related: Al Roker takes time off for knee replacement surgery, enjoyed ‘last walk’; Before the procedure

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

He was out of work for two months following the health crisis, before returning to Today early January. “Look, I had two complicated things,” Roker said SO. “I had blood clots, which they say started after I had COVID in September. And then I had this internal bleeding, I lost half my blood. They were trying to find out where it was.”

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

“Went in for an operation, got four for free,” Roker joked. “So I have this for me.”

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Meanwhile, Monday wasn’t the first time Roker rubbed shoulders with his Today colleagues since his knee surgery. Not only did he make a surprise appearance on May 25 3rd hour today – to visit his co-hosts Sheinelle Jones, Craig Melvin and Dylan Dreyer – but he also reunited with the full Today family later in the day for a photo shoot.

“Talk about what the doctor ordered,” Roker wrote on Instagram, captioning a reel of photos from the event that also featured Willie Geist, Jenna Bush Hager, Kristen Welker, Peter Alexander and Carson Daly. “Seeing my Today guys…for a fun shoot today, it was so much fun.”

Rocker has been Todaysince 1996, and previously made appearances as a backup weathercaster from 1990 to 1995, replacing the late Willard Scott before his semi-retirement.

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

Today airs weekdays starting at 7 a.m. ET on NBC.

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