On Friday, Sajak, 73, was spotted at a Washington Capitals game with his daughter Maggie, three weeks after the show announced that he had to undergo emergency surgery for a blocked intestine. At the hockey game, the television host wore a black baseball cap and a red Capitals jacket for the occasion, as seen in a photo obtained by hockey blog RMNB.
“Always great to see Pat around the arena,” NBC Sports Washington’s Craig Laughlin reportedly said during the third period of the game. “Loves his hockey. He’s getting better. He says the worst has passed Joe B after that surgery so well wishes to Pat and the family.”
Wheel of Fortune announced earlier this month that Vanna White would be temporarily filling in for Sajak after he underwent the emergency surgery.
“The Wheel of Fortune taping on Thursday was canceled because host Pat Sajak underwent successful emergency surgery to correct a blocked intestine,” the show posted on Nov. 8. “He is resting comfortably and looking forward to getting back to work. Taping resumed today as scheduled, and Vanna White has stepped in as host.”
At our Thanksgiving meal today we discussed politics (“Who votes for more cranberries?”), gender issues (“Is that a boy bird or a girl bird?”) and climate change (“That oven is making it warm in here!”). Hope you’re having a good one, too!— Pat Sajak (@patsajak) November 28, 2019
The following day, the show gave viewers the first look at White’s upcoming episodes as host, which will begin airing on Dec. 9.
“Vanna steps in as host and Mickey, Minnie, Donald, Goofy, and Pluto join in the fun!” the show wrote on Twitter alongside two photos of White on the Wheel of Fortune set, which was all decked out for Christmas.
Earlier this month, on Nov. 11, Sajak gave his fans a health update. “Happy to say that the worst has passed,” he shared on Twitter.
I’m planning another Earth-friendly Thanksgiving. After over-indulging on our traditional turkey dinner, I plan to take a long nap instead of burning fossil fuel in my car.— Pat Sajak (@patsajak) November 27, 2019
I’m so grateful for all the good wishes during my recent illness. Happy to say that the worst has passed, and I’ll be out of the hospital in a day of two, then back to work (unless @TheVannaWhite has completely taken over!)— Pat Sajak (@patsajak) November 11, 2019
Sajak has been hosting Wheel of Fortune, which is the longest-running syndicated game show in the U.S., since 1982. The show taped its 7,000th episode in May of last year.
The game show host has been married to Lesly Sajak, a photographer, since 1989, and the couple has two children, son Patrick, 29, and daughter Maggie, 24.
Opening up to PEOPLE last month about their “brotherly and sisterly chemistry,” White, 62, revealed that in the 37 years they’ve been on air together, she and Sajak have never had a single fight in real life, except once about whether to put ketchup on a hot dog.
“We’re one big family,” she told PEOPLE of the Wheel of Fortune cast and crew. “It’s wonderful.”