Jenna Bush Hager Reveals Father George W. Bush Underwent Back Surgery Before Bouncing World Series Pitch

A spokesperson for President Bush's office tells PEOPLE that while he "isn't one to make excuses," it's true that he had lower back surgery earlier this year

<p>AP/Julio Cortez</p> Former President George W. Bush throws out the ceremonial first pitch before Game 1 of the World Series on Oct. 27, 2023

AP/Julio Cortez

Former President George W. Bush throws out the ceremonial first pitch before Game 1 of the World Series on Oct. 27, 2023

Nearly a week after President George W. Bush bounced the ceremonial first pitch at the World Series opener, his daughter Jenna Bush Hager is adding some context to the errant offering.

On Thursday's episode of Today with Hoda & Jenna, Bush Hager, 41, celebrated the Texas Rangers' first-ever World Series victory, explaining the excitement her family felt watching their favorite team prevail over the Arizona Diamondbacks.

During the conversation, co-host Hoda Kotb mentioned that the former president — who co-owned the Rangers for a handful of years before running for public office — had the honor of throwing the first pitch in Arlington, Texas, on Friday, and asked Bush Hager if the ball went past home plate.

"It did not, it curved," Bush Hager responded, before adding: "And he just had back surgery, so unfortunately he probably injured himself."

Related: Jenna Bush Hager Reveals the ‘Absolute Best Blessing’ from Her Parents During Her Teen Years (Exclusive)

<p>Mary DeCicco/MLB Photos via Getty</p> Former President George W. Bush and former first lady Laura Bush watch game one of the 2023 World Series on Oct. 27, 2023

Mary DeCicco/MLB Photos via Getty

Former President George W. Bush and former first lady Laura Bush watch game one of the 2023 World Series on Oct. 27, 2023

A spokesperson for President Bush confirms to PEOPLE that he did undergo back surgery this year, as his daughter said on air — but whether his recovery played a role in the quality of the pitch is up for debate.

"President Bush isn't one to make excuses, but that's true — he did have fusion surgery on his lower back early this year," the spokesperson says. "He continues to recover well and in fact is looking forward to riding mountain bikes with wounded warriors at his ranch on Veterans Day weekend."

Related: George W. Bush Pays Tribute to Wounded Veterans: 'Resilience and Determination'

<p>Rich Pilling/MLB via Getty</p> Then-President George W. Bush throws the ceremonial first pitch in New York at the 2001 World Series, one month after 9/11

Rich Pilling/MLB via Getty

Then-President George W. Bush throws the ceremonial first pitch in New York at the 2001 World Series, one month after 9/11

Friday was not the first time that President Bush, now 77, has been asked to throw the ceremonial first pitch at a World Series game — though it was the first time that a ball he threw hit the dirt before reaching home plate.

One month after the 9/11 terrorist attacks — while he was president — Bush famously threw the ceremonial first pitch for a perfect strike at game three of the World Series, hosted at the Yankees Stadium in New York City.

At the 2010 and 2017 World Series, he threw the first pitch alongside his father, former President George H.W. Bush.

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