Stephen A. Smith Detailed His Battle With COVID, Which Caused Him to Be Hospitalized

Rodin Eckenroth/GettyImages

Stephen A. Smith returned to First Take yesterday after a prolonged absence, just in time to revel in the latest Dallas Cowboys' embarrassment. ESPN's brightest star detailed his battle against COVID, revealing he required hospitalization.

“I had 103 degree fever every night," Smith said. "Woke up with chills and a pool of sweat. Headaches were massive. Coughing profusely. And it got to a point where right before New Year’s Eve, I was in the hospital into New Year’s Day. That’s how I brought in the New Year.”

Smith, who is vaccinated, painted a scary picture of how bad things got, and an even scarier picture of how things could have turned out had he not taken preventative measures.

“They told me, had I not been vaccinated, I wouldn’t be here." he said. "That’s how bad it was. I had pneumonia in both lungs. My liver was bad. It had ravaged me to the point where even now I have monitor my volume — get to the gym every day, walk before you run. Work your way back because I’m still not 100 percent with my lungs, but I’m COVID negative. I’m on the road to recovery."

Both those who enjoy Smith and those who enjoy having their buttons pressed by him are happy to see him back in that chair. And really any chair that happens to be on ESPN at any time. If there's a chair on camera, there's a 45 percent chance he's sitting in it.

Looking forward to see how he makes up for nearly a month of lost takes.