Rob Stafford is usually seen behind the anchor desk at NBC-owned Chicago station WMAQ, but he’s been nowhere to be found for the past few weeks. He even missed the station’s coverage of the Chicago mayoral election, a huge night for local news.
We’ve now learned the reason for Stafford’s absence: a broken ankle. As the anchor told his Facebook fans on February 15:
Our puppy went one way. My ankle went the other. Several broken bones and two surgeries later, I’m back to anchor with Allison tonight after the SNL special on NBC5. Thanks to Dr. Steven Louis and his team for putting me back together.
His return to WMAQ was a little premature. Here’s what he wrote the next day:
Thanks to Dick Johnson for filling in for me today and to Allison for driving me home after last nights newscast. I’m back on the couch for a few days. I overestimated my ability to bounce back from ankle surgery. Apparently I’m not 25 anymore.
A spokeman for the station told Chicago media writer Robert Feder that Stafford is expected back this week, although she wouldn’t give him an exact date.
“He’s taking it one day at a time,” she told Feder.
Stafford joined the station as weekend anchor and reporter in September 2007. He transitioned to the main anchor role in 2009. Prior to joining WMAQ, Stafford worked at Dateline NBC.