Simon Cowell is still on the road to recovery after breaking his back in a bike accident in Malibu, California in August. Six weeks post-surgery, the America's Got Talent judge is taking his recovery "week by week" as he works to build "strength in his back" in the hopes of returning to his full working schedule sometime soon.
Speaking with PEOPLE, an insider revealed that Cowell, 60, is "swimming many times a day" to "build the strength in his back since the surgery." Although it took "a few weeks" before Cowell was able to get in the pool, the source said the former American Idol judge has "been swimming as much as possible" the last few weeks. Cowell is also working on his walking, the insider noting that "being able to do things like swimming and taking long walks is big steps forward after an injury" like the one Cowell sustained.
Cowell's long road to recovery comes after he fell off of a new electric bike and broke his back in four different places on Aug. 8. The AGT judge reportedly broke his spinal cord and narrowly missed being paralyzed. His injuries required him to be rushed into a six-hour-long surgery, during which he had a "number of fusions and metal rod" put into his back.
Now, however, Cowell is said to be "doing really great" and is "taking it week by week to ensure the post-surgery healing stays on track." Along with walking and swimming, he has also been spending time reading and "eating healthy foods." Now out of the hospital and at his Malibu home, he has been spending plenty of time with his longtime girlfriend Lauren Silverman and their 6-year-old son Eric, which the insider says "Simon loves."
Having been cheering him on throughout his hospitalization and ongoing recovery, fans are eager to see Cowell back on their TV screens. As a result of the accident and subsequent surgery, Cowell has missed the entire four weeks of live quarterfinals and two weeks of semifinals of America's Got Talent. Tuesday and Wednesday will mark the final episodes of the currently airing season. Although Cowell's fellow judge Howie Mandel previously suggested that he "wouldn't count him out for the live shows yet" and that "there may be a Simon sighting before the end of the season," at this time, a timeline for Cowell's return has not been revealed.
America's Got Talent's 15th season is down to 10 acts – Roberta Battaglia, Broken Roots, Cristina Rae, Daneliya Tuleshova, Kenadi Dodds, Archie Williams, Alan Silva, Bello Sisters, Brandon Leake, and dance duo BAD Salsa. New episodes air Tuesdays and Wednesdays at 8 p.m. ET on NBC. Stay tuned to PopCulture.com for the latest updates.