Rooker missed the Rockefeller Center Christmas tree lighting and the Thanksgiving Day parade, so his “Today” show family decided to bring him some holiday cheer.
WASHINGTON — While Al Rooker continues his recovery after spending four weeks in the hospital, the “Today” show decided to stop by his home this week for a special holiday surprise.
Dozens of “Today” staff and crew members, dressed in Santa Claus hats, gathered outside his door to sing some Christmas carols.
“I miss you all so much, so much, all these faces,” Rooker told the crowd. “It just means the world to me and to our family and to my Deborah, who has been my rock right now. I just thank you so much. I really appreciate it.”
Earlier this week, Rooker made his debut. On the “Today” show In over a month to give fans an update on how he’s doing.
“Listen, it’s been a tough slog. I’m not going to deny that. It was the hardest I’ve ever done and, you know, I’ve had my share of surgeries. But it makes you ready for this outdoor adventure. There’s a deep sense of gratitude. With prayers and thanks, I’m a very lucky person,” Rooker stated.
Rooker was first hospitalized last month with blood clots in his leg and lung. He was initially released on Thanksgiving, but reportedly was taken back to the hospital a day later due to “complications.” He returned home last Thursday.
Health issues forced Rooker to miss the Rockefeller Center Christmas tree lighting and his first Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade in 27 years.
During Monday’s check-in, Rooker thanked his co-hosts for stopping by the hospital and joked that Hoda Kotb “was actually named an honorary doctor I think, she’ll be right here.”
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Asked Monday what real doctors were saying about when he could potentially return “today,” Rooker explained that he had to work on getting his strength back first after spending four weeks in the hospital. need to.
“I feel good, I feel strong and every day I feel a little bit better,” Rooker said. “I cooked dinner last night and I feel like a bit of a slog, but there are a lot of people with a lot to do, with very few resources.”
Rooker also thanked his doctors at New York Presbyterian and received some compliments for his new mustache.
Back in 2020, Rooker was off the air for a few weeks after undergoing surgery to remove his prostate. Rooker revealed at the time that he had been diagnosed with prostate cancer but had caught it early. Rooker explained at the time that he decided to share his diagnosis publicly to encourage others — especially black men. Which studies indicate are at higher risk. – To make sure they see a doctor and get proper check-ups to prevent cancer which is very treatable if detected early.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.