Simon Cowell Recovering From 5-Hour Back Surgery in Wake of Bike Accident

Simon Cowell America's Got Talent

Simon Cowell is recovering from a five-hour surgery following an electric bike accident Saturday that left his back broken.

“Simon had surgery overnight and is doing okay this morning. It was a five-hour surgery and he has had to have a number of fusions and metal rod put into his back,” a source told People. “He landed on his back when he fell from the bike. The injuries are bad but he’s also been told he was lucky.”

The incident occurred when the America’s Got Talent judge and executive producer was testing his new electric bike in the courtyard of his Malibu, Calif. home. He was immediately taken to the hospital following the fall.

The accident comes just days before Cowell is scheduled to shoot America’s Got Talent‘s first live show, following a months-long production shutdown due to COVID-19. (UPDATE: Cowell will skip the live shows.) The NBC reality competition series resumed production on its current 15th season in late June.

As a safety precaution, the show relocated from its lavish Hollywood auditorium venue to an outdoor setup in Simi Valley designed to resemble a drive-in movie theater, with judges Cowell, Howie Mandel, Heidi Klum and newcomer Sofia Vergara now seated an appropriate distance from one another. Additionally, the number of Judge Cuts episodes was trimmed from four to just one.

Cowell applauded the changes, contending that the Judge Cuts killed the momentum built by the high-energy Auditions. “I personally now would stick to this new way we’ve done it not just for the present but for the future,” he told our sister site Deadline back in June. “I think it is a better show this year than it has been.”

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