SportsCenter anchor Sage Steele made her return to ESPN after she suffered a gruesome injury at the PGA Championship on May 19.
At the tournament, Steele was hit in the face by a Jon Rahm tee shot, which dropped her down to her knees in pain. Not much was revealed at the time of the accident, other than that the reporter was covered in blood.
Steele described how she felt in the moment.
“It is amazing how quickly life can change right. One minute you’re out on a course, just innocently watching amazing golfers play and the next moment you’re on the ground in pain with your entire life flashing before your eyes, scared to death trying to comprehend what the hell just happened,” said Steele.
“Once I went to the ground I didn’t know what happened I was so scared,” she said. “I need people to know this. I’m on the ground, a mess, as you saw, and I just looked at Matt and I said, ‘Please don’t leave me.’ I grabbed your ankle with my bloody hand and said, ‘Please don’t leave me.’”
Steele said “SportsCenter” co-host Matt Barrie helped to get her on a stretcher and later visited her at the hospital, where she joked the pair took “really disgusting pictures,” as she laid in bed with a bloody mouth.
Steele added that Barrie “shooed off” TV cameras from capturing the gruesome incident.
Steele got very emotional as she went on to thank the hospital in Tulsa that took care of her immediately after the incident, along with her dentist for helping fix her teeth.
“Thank you for making me smile throughout all of it,” Steele said to Barrie. “I needed you then, and I love you with all my heart. I’ll never forget it. … I just need you to know that you saved me, and I’m forever grateful, best teammate I’ve ever had.”
Steele is still in the midst of her lawsuit against ESPN and parent company Disney.