Matt Lauer: D'oh! A deer

Mattlauer_today07_240 Matt Lauer has been sidelined after a close encounter with a deer.

The "Today" host was MIA Monday morning (March 23) because he was laid up with an injured shoulder after riding his bicycle on Long Island over the weekend and "had a run-in with a deer," informs co-host Meredith Vieira.

Word is that Lauer was startled when a deer suddenly jumped in front of him, causing him to brake suddenly and fly off of his bike, landing on his shoulder. "Matt's banged up with a displaced shoulder, it popped out," adds Vieira. Lester Holt filled in for Lauer, 51.

Lauer has ridden his bike in the Netherlands for his annual "Where in the World is Matt Lauer?" segment and even at the Olympic velodrome in Beijing.

Deer In an email Lauer joked that he suspected "the deer hired by the competition" to take him down, but Vieira added that "I'd hire the deer -- but just to graze him."

It's unclear exactly when Lauer will return to his hosting duties.

There's no word about the deer's reaction after its close brush with fame.

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