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Al Roker absent from TODAY as he undergoes total knee replacement surgery

The TODAY weatherman said he was "limping through" a weekend walk.
/ Source: TODAY

Al Roker is about to take another major step on his walking journey — by taking a break from walking while he recovers from a total knee replacement surgery.

The beloved TODAY weatherman was absent from the show on Tuesday, May 9, as he underwent the procedure. His Third Hour of TODAY co-host Craig Melvin wished him well, as did TODAY contributor Jill Martin and NBC meteorologist Bill Karins, who took over some of his duties.

"Al's very excited to get that knee in and to get his steps back going again and get everyone going with him," Bill quipped.

Al shared that he took one of his last walk's before the surgery over the weekend. "It's a gorgeous Saturday here in Central Park, and I'm a little less than three days away from getting this left knee replaced," Al said in a recent sunny Instagram video.

Al, who previously had a knee replacement surgery 23 years ago, clarified that "it's a replacement of a replacement." While he was in the studio on Monday, May 8, 2023, Al noted that he would be out "for a little while to take care of the knee," he said.

In recent months, Al had marked some major walking milestones following his first knee replacement surgery. In August 2022, he hit a 200-day streak of walking 10,000 steps and even walked the Brooklyn Half Marathon last year. And just this past March, Al celebrated his "best day yet," hitting a record of more than 13,600 steps in a day.

On March 21, he took time to appreciate how far he'd come since his previous knee replacement.

"Before my left knee went south, a 10k+ step day was no big deal," wrote on Instagram alongside a photo of his daily step count. "Today was the first day, I felt good walking this much. But the knee replacement of this 22-year-old knee replacement is just around the corner."

In the new video, Al said he was "limping through" his walk in the park ahead of the surgery. "So this is my last walk of any significance before the knee (replacement surgery)," he explained. "But it was just such a gorgeous day I had to get out and enjoy it."

Before signing off, Al reminded his followers to check out the Start TODAY Facebook group, where he's been sharing his progress and checking in with regular videos.

Al knows the importance of listening to his body and that, sometimes, taking a break or taking it easy is the best way to stay on track with long-term goals. “You don’t have to go crazy, just get some stuff done,” he told previously. “A little bit of something is better than nothing.”