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Michael Strahan made his ‘GMA’ return to ‘tears of joy’ after weekslong hiatus

Michael Strahan arrives at the 92nd Academy Awards on Feb. 9, 2020, at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles.   (Jay L. Clendenin/Los Angeles Times/TNS)
By Alexandra Del Rosario Los Angeles Times

Michael Strahan is finally back on “Good Morning America,” weeks after personal matters prompted his off-air break.

The former professional football player returned to his “GMA” duties Wednesday morning, joining co-anchors Robin Roberts, George Stephanopoulos, Lara Spencer and Ginger Zee. Roberts, who has shared the air with Strahan since he came to “GMA” part time in 2014, said the team was emotional.

Can I just say we have tears of joy because Michael is back here at the desk,” Roberts said. Strahan, 51, replied: “It’s great to be back.”

With Strahan’s return, it was back to business for the “Good Morning America” team as the co-hosts reportedly launched right into news and interviews without further addressing his absence.

Among the celebrity guests speaking with Strahan on his first day back were “The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds & Snakes” stars Viola Davis, Rachel Zegler and Tom Blyth.

Chris Pine also stopped by the studio to promote his upcoming Disney animated film, “Wish.” While doing so, he connected with Strahan over their love for socks. While recalling GMA’s interview with Pine’s co-star Ariana DeBose, the actor interrupted Strahan saying, “I have those same socks.”

“You and I are together,” Strahan joked with Pine. “I have that same jacket.”

Strahan last appeared on “Good Morning America” on Oct. 26.

He was absent from his post for nearly two weeks, prompting concern from regular viewers.

“Michael Strahan will not be with us this week as he is dealing with some personal family matters,” a network spokesperson said in a statement to the L.A. Times. “We appreciate everyone’s thoughts and concerns.”

Strahan, who joined “Good Morning America” full time in 2016, began making his TV return this week when he returned to the set of Fox’s “NFL Sunday,” from which he had also been absent.