Al Roker happened to sneak in some surprising news for his “Today” family and faithful viewers this morning, September 17. The jovial weatherman and in-house chef on the “Today” set announced that he would be absent from his morning duty station starting tomorrow, in order to help his “get-along” get a lot better with hip surgery. The veteran broadcaster

certainly wasn't suffering from any loss of his sense of humor as he mentioned his left hip acting up, and nothing was wrong with his broad smile, either.

He insisted on making sure that everyone in the “Today” world knew that Al Roker wasn’t planning on a long recovery. The brewmaster who supplies his custom-blended coffee, to all on “Today,” will be back to work very soon, so no one will miss his coffee sips or his Smuckers birthday salutes.

One part at a time

“I'm slowly replacing this body one step at a time,” joked Roker with Harry Smith. Hoda Kotb didn’t leave her longtime colleague on “Today” any wiggle room for not breaking his medical news, but his loyal fans had to break out into laughter when he playfully teased that “I'm getting my hip replaced on Groupon-- I have a 2-for-1 coupon with a friend.”

All kidding aside, Al Roker, who just celebrated his 65th birthday last month, related that issues of osteoarthritis started becoming more prominent only since July.

The deteriorative joint condition affects 27 million people in the US, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Debilitating hip conditions can drastically affect seniors and precipitate further isolation and health decline. Roker decided to act quickly and his doctors moved the surgery up about a month on his calendar.

Hoda Kotb reflected that she has never known Al Roker to be a person who lets pain rule over attitude.

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“He can be dragging his leg, and still say “I'm good, how was your weekend?” Harry Smith credited that the same attitude was part of New York Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter's winning mindset. “I should be back by September 30,” predicted the forecaster, who sees no reason to expect any trouble. Al already has a strident support system between his family and his “Today” crew, sure to be standing ready with anything he needs.

Greenland and good snacks

During the announcement of the surgery in his third-hour of “Today,” Dylan Dreyer and Sheinelle Jones asked if Al Roker’s recent trek to Greenland caused the hip problems.

The latest trip vividly captured the impact of climate change, literally in front of Roker’s and viewers’ eyes, as huge sections of ice were captured vanishing into the sea. “I'm not sure,” responded the intrepid senior journalist, “but could be.” Al had to wear rigid non-slip boots at all times throughout his frigid travels, and the grip can be a grind on the joints.

The gang presented Al with a tasty, early get-well gift—popcorn from his favorite shop. The custom crunchy blend of crafted cheddar and caramel in a mix made the perfect munchy treat for Al Roker to sneak into his hospital room after the anesthesia wears off in the first few days.

The anesthesia effect was the only real concern that Al Roker mentioned to his caring cohorts. They were already munching on the popcorn, except for Craig Melvin, who didn't much care for the cheesy- sweet combination. Maybe Al will send some popcorn to his sister, Lisa, who is having both hips replaced. “Where on a family plan now,” the weatherman jested. He welcomed cameras into his hospital room for his recovery after knee surgery in 2016.

Everyone cares for Al Roker and good wishes are already flooding his social media.

Fans are sure to see his bright glasses and a big smile on “Today” from his hospital bed very soon. He plans to be up and walking the first day after surgery.

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