Sports personality and recurring soap opera star Stephen A. Smith is back on the job but recently admitted that COVID-19 had him sick to the point of missing more workdays than ever.
It even had the outspoken and animated commentator thinking he might be in his final days, as he shared that he thought COVID-19 might claim his life.
General Hospital fans saw him pop up on the show this week as his recurring character Brick, and now the man many consider the face of ESPN has returned to the sports network.
Stephen A. Smith gives COVID-19 update
Last month, Stephen A. Smith revealed on the ESPN program First Take that he’d contracted COVID-19. His initial reveal came on Tuesday, December 21, and at the time, Smith said he was “fine.”
“I’m feeling fine. Mild symptoms,” Smith said per USA Today, adding, “Thank God I was vaccinated. Thank God I got the Pfizer vaccine, two shots a few months ago.”
The 54-year-old Smith said he had previously tested negative numerous times during a trip to Los Angeles and even when he returned to New York.
However, it turns out that Smith may not have been feeling as “fine” as he thought, as he finally returned to ESPN’s First Take on Monday, January 17, and shared a COVID-19 update.
Early in the episode, Smith joked around with his co-star, former Dallas Cowboys star Michael Irvin, about his team losing in their NFL playoff game Sunday.
“Doctor told me to monitor my voice, energy, lungs—all that stuff. I ain’t listenin’ to that today,” Smith joked with his First Take co-star.
Later in the program, Smith got more serious as he spoke about what the past month had been like for him.
“For me personally, it hit me differently,” Smith said, adding, “You’re assuming…Might have a fever. Might have a cough. Going to have that massive headache, but you’ll get over it, and in a lot of cases, that was the case. In my case, it was totally different.”
Smith went on to say he had a 103-degree fever on a nightly basis, woke up with chills, had massive headaches, and was “coughing profusely” while he was still recovering. He also said he spent New Year’s Eve into New Year’s Day in a hospital.
“They told me had I not been vaccinated, I wouldn’t be here,” Smith shared, mentioning he had pneumonia in both lungs and that his “liver was bad.”
He said “it ravaged” him to the point he’s now required to monitor himself and get in the gym to work on his lungs, but he’s on the road to recovery and is COVID-19 negative.
“I’m ecstatic to be at work. I’ve used more sick days in the last month than I’ve used in my 28-year career in this business combined,” Smith revealed.
He also spoke to viewers about masking up because of how it could ensure the health and safety of others.
“You don’t know how you might affect the person sitting next to you,” Smith reiterated on First Take, adding that wearing a “mask is pivotal.”
Smith returns on General Hospital
In addition to his well-known job as a sports commentator and TV personality, Stephen A. Smith has also been a soap opera star of sorts.
Avid General Hospital viewers have seen Smith appear every so often in his recurring role as Brick, the right-hand man for Sonny Corinthos (Maurice Benard). Smith has been in that role since 2016. He also made a cameo appearance as a reporter on the show back in 2007.
While Smith hasn’t had a substantial role on the show, one must wonder if the loss of Jason Morgan (Steve Burton) on the show could give Smith some more TV time as Sonny’s helping hand.
In minor General Hospital spoilers, Smith popped up as Brick on the Monday, January 17 episode of GH, just hours after he appeared on ESPN’s First Take and gave his COVID-19 update. So GH viewers are likely to see more of Smith as Brick in the coming months.
First Take airs weekdays on ESPN. General Hospital airs weekdays on ABC.