Simon Cowell's Recovery 'Ahead' of Expectations Despite Reports He's Bedridden

America's Got Talent judge Simon Cowell is reportedly recovering "well and ahead" of schedule from the accident he suffered on an electric bike in early August. The news that he is doing well is contrary to a previous report that he could be bedridden for the next six months to recover from the accident. Cowell, 61, broke his back in three places and was forced to miss the AGT live episodes.

Cowell is "doing really well and is recovering well and ahead of what is expected," sources told Entertainment Tonight Sunday. They said Cowell is "doing over 10,000 steps a day" and is swimming to "get his back strong and healed again." The sources claimed Cowell "no longer needs to wear a back brace all the time."

This rosy outlook came after other sources told The Sun Cowell went through a "rough few weeks" and experienced setbacks in his recovery. "Simon’s a fighter and fairly gung-ho. Naturally, he thought he’d be out of action for a few weeks and then, if not doing iron man contests, at least be back on the showbiz circuit," the source said, noting that his injury was "more complicated than a standard break."

Britain's Got Talent producers hoped Cowell could at least film a message for their season finale, but The Sun's sources said Cowell was not feeling up to it. According to the outlet, Cowell was using "extremely strong painkillers" and needed to wear a special back brace. “Simon is joking and in decent spirits," The Sun's sources said. "But he’s also quite vain and the idea of going on national TV with no studio make-up, and while on heavy-duty medication, didn’t appeal. So, unfortunately, he had to decline producers’ requests."

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After Cowell's surgery, most reports about his recovery were optimistic. In late September, a source told PEOPLE Cowell was swimming as often as possible to build his strength back. "Being able to do things like swimming and taking long walks is big steps forward after an injury like this but he's doing really great," the insider said. "Whenever someone visits, he basically seems to want to race them on a long walk in the garden."

Cowell's fellow America's Got Talent judges even hoped he could make an appearance on the show before the season ended, although that ultimately did not happen. He was replaced by guest judges Kelly Clarkson and Kenan Thompson for two episodes before judges Howie Mandel, Sofia Vergara, and Heidi Klum finished the rest of the season without a fourth judge.