‘TODAY Show’ Host Carson Daly Returns Weeks After ‘Hardcore’ Spinal Surgery

by Joe Rutland
(Photo Courtesy Getty Images)

For TODAY Show host Carson Daly, he was back on the fabled NBC morning show after undergoing serious spinal surgery. Daly’s return was seven weeks to the day that he went under the knife to fix chronic back pain. He’s had it from a much-earlier snowmobiling accident decades ago. In August, Daly underwent what he would call on Tuesday a “real hardcore” surgery. It was an Anterior Lumbar Interbody Fusion one where an intervertebral disc is removed. It’s then replaced with a bone or a metal spacer.

“It worked,” Daly tells colleagues Savannah Guthrie, Hoda Kotb, Al Roker, and Sheinelle Jones of the procedure Tuesday. PEOPLE reports Daly also said that he’d have been back in the NBC studio last week. But his presence was needed in Los Angeles to shoot episodes of The Voice. Carson Daly offered thanks to his TODAY Show family for supporting him during his absence. He said that he was feeling “great” now. Daly said, “I’m 18 again. It’s been quite the recovery. I had some time to sit around and [rest], but it feels great.”

Carson Daly Goes On Long Walks As Part Of His Recovery From Surgery

He said that “there’s a long road ahead” to him being 100%. Carson Daly explained that recovering from the pain is just the beginning. “I hope I get a chance to do a story on it because what I realize now is it’s like the iceberg effect,” he said. “This just isn’t a story about people who have back pain and how do you fix it; there’s a subtext underneath it all that’s very complex that so many of us have to deal with.

“When you’re in pain and you’re looking to just feel good, that changes your relationship with food and drink and your life,” Carson Daly said. “And then when they fix the pain, there are these other complex areas of your life that you need to deal with and realign with. So when I say I’m getting better, I’m getting better in a multitude of ways which is great; which is really great.”

Daly said that part of his recovery process includes regular walks. “I’m the Forrest Gump of Long Island,” he said. “I walk everywhere.” Carson Daly also is looking forward to getting back out on the golf course. “I can chip and putt at 13 weeks so I’m still another 6 weeks out from that,” Daly noted. He did tease that he was going to follow in the footsteps of championship golfer Tiger Woods. Woods had the same spinal surgery in 2017. “I’ll probably get (a) condo in Augusta, Georgia first, start visiting, and then I’ll start getting to the Masters in maybe 4 years,” Daly said.