Fans tuning in to SportsRadio 94.1 WIP on Monday were surprised when popular morning show host Angelo Cataldi wasn't on the air to interview Eagles head coach Doug Pederson after the Birds' 33-10 win over the 49ers,
On Tuesday, after Ben Simmons scored 24 points in a 115-107 win over the Rockets, fans hoping to rib Cataldi for having urged the Sixers not to draft the 21-year-old discovered the host absent for a second straight morning.
Cataldi has also been absent from Twitter since Friday, causing many fans to wonder what happened to WIP's top-rated sports host.
Sources say the sports talker went into the hospital on Sunday morning when doctors discovered they needed to remove his gallbladder. It was removed on Monday, and Cataldi is recovering from surgery. He could be released as early as Thursday.
His morning show partners didn't waste time poking fun at the recovering host. Comedian Joe Conklin did his best imitation of Cataldi during a comedy bit about his hospital stay, providing the voice of several visitors, including Sixers coach Brett Brown and Howie Roseman, the Eagles' executive VP of football operations.
"Markelle's room is just down the hall, so I figured I'd stop by and wish you well," Conklin's Brown said, a joke about injured Sixers rookie Markelle Fultz.
Sources said Cataldi isn't expected to be out long, though there is no official timeline for him to return. Until then, Marc Farzetta will continue to fill in.
This is the second time this year a big name in Philadelphia sports talk radio has been out for medical reasons. In February, 97.5 the Fanatic host Mike Missanelli missed several weeks as he recovered from back surgery, after having initially attempted to return to work.
"I was warned by my doctor that if I came back sitting in a 90-degree angled chair I'd make the situation worse," Missanelli said. "The truth is I didn't give myself enough time to heal."
Cataldi has said he's considering retiring from WIP once his contract ends at the end of the year. Despite that, he's still a powerhouse for WIP, managing to grow his ratings 22 percent over last year, easily outpacing rival Anthony Gargano at the Fanatic.