Cake Boss star Buddy Valastro is almost completely healed after suffering a gruesome hand injury at his home bowling alley last year. Valastro, 44, needed five reconstructive hand surgeries after the injury, and his recovery was the subject of the TLC special Buddy Valastro: Road to Recovery. The injury also did not stop him from filming his Discovery+ series Buddy vs. Duff with Duff Goldman.
"I say we're about 95% [healed] - which if that's as good as it's going to get, Rachael, I'll take it," Valastro told Rachael Ray in a clip from her Monday episode, published by PEOPLE Saturday. The Carlo's Bakery owner said it has "definitely been an amazing ride" since the accident. "The fact that I was able to still do what I love, like doing that last season of Buddy vs. Duff, it was amazing because of the fact that I could still do it," Valastro said.
Valastro hurt his hand on Sept. 20, 2020, when trying to fix his bowling alley's pinsetter. While working on it, his right hand got stuck in the machine, its metal rod impaling his hand three times. He needed five reconstructive hand surgeries. A few days after the accident Valastro said he experienced the "worst pain" of his life, comparing the bloody scene to a "Halloween movie."
In a July Entertainment Tonight interview, Valastro praised his wife Lisa and their children Sofia, 17, Buddy Jr., 16, Marco, 13, and Carlo, 10, for helping him in his recovery. "They definitely stepped up to the plate," Valastro said at the time. "In times of crisis, you don't know what people's reactions are going to be, 'How are we going to do this?' 'What are we going to do?' We all came together and I am so proud of my boys and thankful to my whole family."
While on The Rachael Ray Show, Valastro said he was "so proud" of his children for helping him out. "I've got amazing kids and they're doing great things. Just to see them turn into interesting personalities and stuff like that, it's been an amazing journey," he said. "My wife did an amazing job. I got to give it up to Lisa. She's truly, truly amazing."
Buddy vs. Duff, which first aired on Food Network, filmed its third season while Valastro was recovering. He told the HollywoodLife Podcast he was not even sure how capable he would be before filming. "This season was less about winning or losing, and more about my hand being able to do this," he explained. "I was like, that I can still make these cakes was winning enough to me."