ESPN's Hannah Storm Returns to Work 3 Weeks After Grill Explosion

H?annah Storm and Josh Elliott at the 124th Rose Parade in Pasadena.
H?annah Storm and Josh Elliott at the 124th Rose Parade in Pasadena.
 ABC News

Hannah Storm returned to TV on Tuesday morning after spending the better part of the past month on the mend for burns she suffered when a propane tank exploded at her Connecticut home.

The 50-year-old ESPN anchor, who's been sitting at the SportsCenter desk since 2008, made her first public appearance co-hosting ABC's coverage of the 2013 Rose Parade on New Year's Day. The announcement of her return also served as the first formal acknowledgement of the accident.

Storm had been preparing dinner on Dec. 11 when she was hit with a "wall of fire" after trying to light the grill, the AP reports.

"It was like you see in a movie, it happened in a split-second," she said. "A neighbor said he thought a tree had fallen through the roof, it was that loud. It blew the doors off the grill."

Storm's injuries included second-degree burns on her chest and hands, as well as first-degree burns on her face and neck. The explosion also burned off her eyebrows, eyelashes and half of her hair.

The veteran broadcaster remained mum on the incident throughout her recovery, only breaking her Twitter silence a few days ago to say that she would be traveling to Pasadena to emcee the annual parade with Good Morning America's Josh Elliott.

Elliott teased her arrival with a Monday photo on his own Twitter account. It showed Storm smiling, but mostly concealed, under a wide-brimmed hat.

But for all the tongue-in-cheek secrecy, there was little difference in Storm's appearance when she took her seat at the Rose Parade desk Tuesday. She had a bandage covering her left hand and wore hair extensions.

ESPN, which reworked Storm's schedule to give her time to recover, expects to have her back at SportsCenter's Bristol, Conn., studio for Sunday's episode. After that, the Notre Dame graduate says she'll be traveling to Miami to watch her alma mater play Alabama in the BCS National Championship Game.

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