Savannah Guthrie Suffers Injury Amid ‘TODAY Show’ Feud With Hoda Kotb

by Caitlin Berard

The unusual sport pickleball has exploded in popularity in recent years. As such, it’s no surprise that TODAY Show host Savannah Guthrie joined in on the fun. Like any physical activity, however, pickleball comes with a fair number of hazards – a painful fact that the TODAY host learned the hard way.

On Thursday’s episode of the TODAY Show, Savannah spoke to physical therapist David Endres about avoiding pickleball injuries. During the conversation, she revealed that she, herself, was once injured playing the sport. And, embarrassingly, it was her own racquet that hit her.

“Have you ever seen anybody who’s hit their own head with a pickleball racquet? Well, now you have,” Guthrie said as a picture of her severely bruised face appeared onscreen. “That was me.”

“Isn’t that horrendous?” she continued. “That lump, and let me tell you what I did was just put a nice bottle of Hampton Water Rosé right on it and that really brought the swelling right down.”

Now, you may be thinking, how does one hit themselves in the head with a pickleball racquet? Well, Savannah Guthrie explained that, though it seems unlikely, it’s absolutely possible.

“It could happen. You get excited and then you’re like, ‘Boom’ on your own head,” she hilariously explained while mimicking the movement required to hit yourself with a racquet.

“This happened last May,” the TODAY Show host revealed. “It was an embarrassing self-inflicted wound. My opponent hit the pickle ball right toward me and when I tried to hit it back, I whipped the racquet up toward my own forehead with such force, I whacked myself on the head. The lump appeared immediately and [was] humungous. It was an astonishing lump!”

‘TODAY Show’ Host Savannah Guthrie Reveals the Moral of Her Story

Thankfully, the TODAY Show host went on to explain that, despite the gruesome appearance of the injury, it wasn’t all that serious. “The embarrassment hurt more than the injury,” Savannah Guthrie explained. “I didn’t have any ice on hand, but I did have a cold bottle of rosé nearby. So I improvised — and put the bottle on it to get the swelling down. That’s about it!”

“Moral of the story: have rosé handy if you play pickleball,” she continued. “Or maybe the moral of the story is, don’t play pickleball while drinking rosé!”

David Endres, the physical therapist guest on the show, assured Savannah that injuries with pickleball are more common than one might think. As pickball is a “dynamic activity” involving throwing with an overhead motion, it’s all too easy to suffer an injury far more severe than a bruised face. The most common of these? A torn rotator cuff.

To prevent injury, Endres recommends warming up the shoulder with exercise bands before playing. In addition, strengthening and stretching the muscle group is always a good idea. “In squash and tennis, we do something called ‘ghosting,'” Endres explained. “You actually get on the court and you simulate the movements that you’re doing on the court so that you have a good awareness or court perception.”