WASHINGTON — "TODAY" hosts received an early morning shock after Al Roker popped into the studio during a segment on Thursday.
Roker, 68, has been away from the NBC morning show for weeks as he recovers from a total knee replacement surgery earlier this month. The weatherman's return was not expected until next week.
Co-hosts Sheinelle Jones, Dylan Dreyer and Craig Melvin were left in shock as Roker walked toward them with a cane and an infectious laugh at the end of a segment.
"Al Roker, he just shocked us with a little surprise pop-in." Melvin explained following the surprise. "We weren't expecting that — clearly."
Jones said that the hosts were expecting to see Roker later in the day but were surprised to see him on the live show, according to "TODAY."
The 68-year-old previously shared on the show that the surgery was more like "a replacement of a replacement," as he had a previous knee replacement surgery 23 years ago. Following his procedure on May 9, the weatherman told his co-hosts that he began walking one day after the surgery.
This wasn't the first time Roker has been off the air recently due to medical issues.
In late 2022, the "TODAY" show weatherman was off the air for nearly two months after being hospitalized for blood clots in his lungs and legs. The hospitalization in November led him to miss his first Thanksgiving Day Parade in 27 years.
Back in 2020, Roker was off the air for a couple weeks after undergoing surgery for prostate cancer. He revealed at the time that he had been diagnosed with prostate cancer but that they had caught it early. Roker explained he decided to publicly share his diagnosis to encourage others — particularly Black men, who studies indicate face greater risk — to ensure they see a doctor and get the proper checkups to stop a cancer that is very treatable if detected early.