Winter Olympics Sochi 2014

Winter Olympics Sochi 2014

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Bob Costas Gets "Red Eye" Treatment From Matt Lauer

NBC's "Today" host poked fun at colleague Bob Costas over an infection that sidelined the veteran anchor from Olympic coverage

By Patrick Hickey Jr.
|  Friday, Feb 21, 2014  |  Updated 9:28 AM PDT
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Team USA: Women's Hockey at Sochi

TODAY; NBC Olympics

Bob Costas took several nights off from NBC's Olympic coverage due to an eye infection.

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If snarky comments on social media over an eye infection weren't hard enough on NBC's Bob Costas, "Today" show host Matt Lauer added to the barrage in person on Friday's show.

The prank started innocent enough. A stone-faced Lauer asked Costas, who took off five days from primetime Olympic coverage due to the ill-timed affliction, when he was leaving Sochi -- a perfect setup to the deed.

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"I will leave on Monday," Costas, who was wearing sunglasses to conceal his healing eyes, replied.

"You are? Taking the red eye (flight) home?" Lauer quipped.

The laughter from the crew and subsequent off-camera high-five from Al Roker sealed the deal.

The long-time Olympics host started duty in Sochi with his left eye reddened from viral conjunctivitis that he hoped would clear up quickly. Instead, it spread quickly to his right eye. It made his vision blurry and sensitivity to light made working impossible. His red eyes were a popular topic on social media.

Lauer and Meredith Vieira filled in for him. Costas thanked the two, and viewers for expressing concern.

"My apologies to everyone for the unavoidable but uncomfortable circumstance of a broadcaster's ill-timed affliction getting in the way, even for just a moment, from what we all came here for," Costas said when he returned on Monday.

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