Bob Costas is sucking it up and taking one for the team.
The longtime Olympic commentator is returning to the NBC anchor desk Monday night after a weeklong absence, but he made it clear he’s still feeling the effects of the eye infection that sidelined him in the first place.
“I’m not 100 percent, that’s for sure,” Costas said on the “TODAY” show Monday morning, via For The Win. “But if I waited until I was 100 percent, the Olympics would be over.”
Costas originally tried to mask the infection by wearing glasses on the air, but once it spread to his right eye, it became clear that the anchor would need to take some time off. Matt Lauer and Meredith Vieira filled in on NBC’s prime-time coverage in his absence.
“I want to thank Matt and Meredith for doing such a good job and filling in,” Costas said. “I really feel bad, especially for Matt. Meredith was twiddling her thumbs a little bit, to be honest.
“Matt was doing double duty, back and forth to the mountains … an hour’s sleep. Now he holds so many chits on me on his side of the table, I owe him so many favors, that’s the worst part of the whole thing.”
Before excusing himself, Costas had hosted 157 consecutive nights of Olympics coverage for the network, a streak that dated back to 1988.