Eye infection sidelines Bob Costas during Winter Olympics

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(KTVI) – Famed sports broadcaster and St. Louisan Bob Costas is stepping away from his Winter Olympic broadcast duties because of an eye infection.

According to Yahoo! Sports, Costas’ eyes were notably red on Thursday when the game began. But on Monday,  they appeared to be worse.

Costas has anchored Olympic coverage for NBC for several years.  Now, Matt Lauer will step in and do prime time reports Tuesday night.

As for Costas’ eyes, they should be  cleared up in a few days if it’s nothing serious. Many people think it’s just pink eye, but a definitive diagnosis has not been released.

Costas did release a statement on Tuesday calling it a “viral infection” that must run it’s course:

“It was becoming increasingly noticeable and uncomfortable, but if it was just that, I would have continued. We in broadcasting are lucky to have the jobs we do, and at one time or another, we’ve all gone on the air feeling less than our best.

“The difference is that last night and into this morning, it got to the point where, as a practical matter, I simply couldn’t do my job because my eyes had become so blurry, watery and sensitive to light.

“If it was just discomfort, I’d be there. I’m receiving excellent treatment…it’s a viral infection, and all you can do is try to manage the symptoms while the virus runs its course. But I’m hopeful that those 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.”

According to NBC Sports PR, this will be the first time since 1988 that someone other than Costas will host the Olympics in primetime.

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