Oh, Deer! Matt's Bicycle Bang-Up

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By Rick Schindler

UPDATE: Tony Kornheiser's accusation

Where in the world was Matt Lauer Monday morning? Brazil? Cambodia? The exotic Seychelle Islands?

Somewhere considerably less scenic, unfortunately -- the TODAY host was laid up with an injured shoulder after a mishap while bicycling on Long Island. "He was riding his bike over the weekend and he had a run-in with a deer," co-host Meredith Vieira explained.

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Vieira added that although Lauer's shoulder was hurt, his sense of humor was intact: He joked in an email that he thought “the deer was hired by the competition.” 

“I’d hire the deer -- but just to graze him,” Vieira quipped to Weekend TODAY anchor Lester Holt, who filled in for Lauer.

Vieira said that the deer apparently leapt in front of Lauer, who slammed on his brakes to avoid a collision. The sudden stop threw him off the bike and onto his shoulder. Luckily, Lauer was wearing a helmet.

Lauer, 51, is an avid cyclist who has ridden a bike on TODAY on a number of occasions, most recently around the Olympic velodrome in Beijing. He also rode a bike last year in the Netherlands during his annual “Where in the World is Matt Lauer?” globe-girdling trip.

Matt is scheduled to have surgery on the shoulder Monday afternoon. But in true show-biz tradition, he is hoping to be back in his anchor chair on Wednesday. Viewers can convey their best wishes to Matt by commenting on this post. However, viewers who want to leave their best wishes for the deer are on their own.