Matt Lauer will step in for Bob Costas Tuesday night after an eye infection forced the veteran NBC sportscaster to turn over his Olympic broadcasting duties to someone else for the first time since 1988.
Costas, who does not normally wear glasses, appeared on the air last week in a pair of spectacles and announced that he had some sort of infection in his left eye
. By Monday, the situation worsened and reportedly spread to both eyes, leaving the 61-year-old swollen and uncomfortable.
In a statement from NBC Tuesday, Costas said he was taking the night off to recuperate and would turn over his broadcasting duties to the "Today" show's Matt Lauer.
"As a practical matter, I simply couldn’t do my job because my eyes had become so blurry, watery, and sensitive to light," the statement read. "I’m hopeful the symptoms will improve in the next couple of days and I can return to the broadcast. Also, the last thing I want is to go through the rest of my life owing Matt Lauer a bunch of favors."
Costas also called in to the "Today" show to tell Lauer himself.
"Reluctantly, I was trying to throw a complete game here, but I think we’re going to have to go to the bullpen," he said. "I don’t know if you’re aware of this or not, but you’re Mariano Rivera, at least tonight."
"So, I’m going to step in for you tonight, the master of Olympic primetime?" Lauer joked.
"I believe that’s it," Costas said. "Let’s hope it’s only tonight because right now I’m walking around and might as well be playing Marco Polo. I have no idea where I am."
Twitter users took to the social network to show their support for Costas.
But others took playful jabs at Costas' eye infection.
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