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WATCH: Al Roker Says He's 'Feeling Strong' in Virtual Return to Today Show

The anchor has been absent from the show since November.
  • Al Roker. (Photo: NBC)
    Al Roker. (Photo: NBC)

    Al Roker is on the mend. 

    During his first apperance on Today since being hospitalized in early November, the beloved anchor updated viewers on his recovery. "It's good to be home," he said. "It’s been a tough slog; I’m not going to deny this," he confessed. 

    "This has been the hardest one yet, and you know, I’ve had my fair share of surgeries," he told his Today colleagues Savannah Guthrie, Hoda Kotb, Craig Melvin, and Dylan Dreyer. "But it gives you a profound sense of gratitude for this outpouring of prayers and thanks. I’m a very fortunate person... I feel good, I feel strong. And every day, I feel a little bit better."

    Roker was hospitalized for blood clots in his legs and lungs in early November, causing him to miss the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade for the first time in 27 years. He was also absent from the November 30 Christmas Tree Lighting at Rockefeller Center. 

    Despite being home and on the mend, it will take some time for Roker to return to Today. "You lose a certain amount of muscle mass for every week you’re in the hospital, and I was in the hospital for 4 weeks. So it’s just a certain amount of weakness," said Roker. "I’ve got to just get my strength back.... I just feel like it’s going to be a little bit of a slog, but a lot of people have to deal with a lot more with a lot fewer resources," he continued, thanking his medical team. "I’m very fortunate, very blessed to be able to have these resources."

    Roker, 68, has been full-time with Today since 1996. Dylan Dreyer has been filling in for the anchor during his recovery and treatment. 

    Jade Budowski is a freelance writer with a knack for ruining punchlines and harboring dad-aged celebrity crushes. She was previously a reporter/producer at Decider and is a member of the Television Critics Association. Follow her on Twitter: @jadebudowski.

    TOPICS: Al Roker, NBC, Today