Matt Lauer returned to the "Today" show on Thursday with his arm in a sling after flipping his bicycle over a deer _ only to see his playful colleagues don deer antlers.

NBC's morning show host gave as good as he got, though.

Lauer had surgery for a separated shoulder and missed three days of work following last weekend's Hamptons bike ride gone bad. He said he'll be wearing the sling for six weeks.

Not only did co-host Ann Curry put on the antlers, so did everyone in the "Today" control room.

Lauer pointed out the show's director. "It's the same guy who asked me for four Percocet (painkiller) 15 minutes ago," he said.

NBC also invited Tony Kornheiser of ESPN's "Pardon the Interruption," who last week playfully suggested Lauer had faked the injury, for a mock confrontation.

"I never heard of a deer attacking somebody on a bicycle," Kornheiser said. "This is ridiculous."

Responded Lauer: "I didn't say it attacked me. It wasn't a knife-wielding deer coming out of the bushes. I think it was as surprised to see me as I was to see it."

If he was going to make up a story to cover up some sort of scandal, "I would have said a mountain lion, or Katie Couric, jumped out in front of me," Lauer said.

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