Stephen A. Smith says his battle with COVID-19 included pneumonia in both his lungs as well as a 103-degree fever "every night" ... and things got so bad, he wondered if he was going to die.
The ESPN personality -- who returned to "First Take" this week after being away from the show to fight the virus the past several weeks -- spoke in-depth Monday about his bout with corona, and he revealed it was pure hell.
Smith said there were night sweats, fevers, headaches and a cough -- and he said it was all so awful, he was forced to spend New Year's Day in the hospital.
"I can't tell you how lucky and sincerely blessed I am to be sitting here with you guys today," Smith told his co-hosts, "because two-and-a-half, three weeks ago, I didn't know if I was going to make it."
Smith said doctors told him if he hadn't been vaccinated, he likely would be dead.
"That’s how bad it was," Smith said. "I had pneumonia in both lungs. My liver was bad. It ravaged me."
Smith, though, was in good spirits in his return to TV -- he trolled the hell out of the Dallas Cowboys relentlessly for their playoff loss -- and he added that he's now testing negative for the virus and is on his way to getting back to 100 percent.