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Al Roker returns to "Today" show after being hospitalized for blood clots

Al Roker made his emotional return to the "Today" show on Friday after being absent from the show for two months because of health issues. The beloved weatherman was hospitalized for blood clots in his lungs and leg

His co-hosts Savannah Guthrie and Hoda Kotb welcomed him back as the broadcast began. 

"I'm sorry but the tears are already flowing," Guthrie said. "Al Roker is back." 

"To say we have missed you doesn't even begin to describe it," she added. "It is nothing without you here."

After Roker came out and hugged his colleagues, he expressed what being back meant to him. 

"I have missed you guys so much. You are like my second family, and it's just great to be back and wearing pants," he joked. 

Roker gave weather reports, and later during the show, he and his wife, ABC News correspondent and anchor Deborah Roberts, discussed his recovery. Roberts said Roker is a "living, breathing miracle" and that he had been a "very, very sick man." 

"He was medical mystery for a couple weeks," Roberts said. "It was the most tumultuous, frightening journey we have ever been on." 

Roker, who looks visibly thinner, said doctors performed multiple surgeries on him while trying to find the blood clots. 

"I went in for one operation, I got four free," he cracked. "I got that going for me." 

Al Roker on the "Today" show
Al Roker on the set of NBC's "Today" show on January 6, 2023, in New York City.  Raymond Hall/GC Images

The 68-year-old said in mid-November he was admitted to the hospital with a blood clot in his leg that sent clots into his lungs. He was released shortly before Thanksgiving, but was later readmitted due to complications. 

It was the first Thanksgiving in 27 years that Roker was not part of the network's coverage of the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade. He was also not present at the annual Rockefeller Center Christmas tree lighting in December. 

Roker has had a host of medical issues in the past. Two years ago, he announced he needed surgery for prostate cancer. He's also had surgeries to fix issues with his hip and knees. 

Known for his cheery demeanor, Roker has been a fixture at NBC for decades and has worked in broadcasting since the mid-1970s. 

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