Al Roker makes first TV appearance since hospitalization: 'Every day I feel a little bit better'

Al Roker is back home after being in and out of the hospital over the past month and is reflecting on a "tough slog" in his health journey.

"Today" show co-anchor Hoda Kotb announced on Dec. 1 that Roker was readmitted to the hospital after complications from an earlier visit in November. The "Today" show weatherman experienced blood clots that traveled to his lungs. He initially returned home on Thanksgiving Day but went back in days later.

Roker announced Thursday night he was back home, again.

"Home! So incredibly grateful to family, friends, medical folks, @todayshow family and all your thoughts and prayers," he wrote on Instagram.

The "Today" show anchors also announced the "great, great" news on Friday's show while playing his favorite song: "The A-Team" theme song.

Al Roker is back home after being admitted to the hospital twice after a blood clot scare in November.
Al Roker is back home after being admitted to the hospital twice after a blood clot scare in November.

"He shared the announcement last night on Instagram," Savannah Guthrie said. "It's been a long road."

On Monday, Roker, rocking a salt-and-pepper mustache, checked in virtually with his "Today" colleagues from his kitchen to talk about his hospital stay and when he might return to the show.

"It's been a tough slog. I’m not going to deny this," he said. "It's been the hardest one yet and you know I’ve had my 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," he said.

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When Kotb asked about when he might be coming back, Roker said he has to get his strength back.

"You lose a certain amount of muscle mass for every week you are in the hospital. I was in the the hospital for four weeks," he said, adding that he is doing physical and occupational therapy to help regain his strength.

But, he added, he feels good. "I feel strong and every day I feel a little bit better."

More: Al Roker hospitalized again due to 'some complications' after blood clot recovery

Roker's medical scare led him to miss hosting the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade Nov. 24, making it his first absence for the staple event in 26 years. NBC meteorologist Dylan Dreyer filled in for him. 

Blood clots, or deep vein thrombosis, commonly occur in the leg but can also develop in the arm, according to Johns Hopkins Medicine. "Part of the clot, called an embolus, can break off and travel to the lungs," which can cut off blood flow to the lungs.

Roker has sat at the "Today" show weather desk since 1996 and has been transparent about medical issues in the past.

In 2020, Roker went public with his prostate cancer diagnosis in order to spotlight the number of men who are diagnosed with the disease.

"If you detect it early, this is a really treatable disease. And it's why I wanted to take you along my journey, so we can all learn together how to educate and protect the men in our lives." he said. "I don't want people thinking, 'Oh, poor Al,' you know, because I'm gonna be OK."

Contributing: Amy Haneline, Cydney Henderson, Morgan Hines

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Al Roker on 'Today': His health update on TV after hospital stay