Simon Cowell Ditches Vegan Diet After Shocking Back Injury

America's Got Talent judge Simon Cowell switched to a healthy vegan diet last year to lose weight, but he had to turn his back on the diet after his scary bike accident earlier this month. Cowell's longtime girlfriend Lauren Silverman reportedly brought turkey cottage pie and chocolate to the hospital for Cowell while he was recovering from back surgery. Cowell broke part of his back after he fell off a new electric bike he was testing at his Malibu, California home, forcing him to miss last week's live AGT episodes.

When Silverman visited Cowell in the hospital she dropped off several of Cowell's favorite foods on each trip, ignoring his vegan diet, a source told The Mirror. "She has been making his favorite Italian bean soup and also Cottage Pie with turkey, which he loves," the source explained. "His diet is incredibly healthy but there’s nothing better than traditional English comfort foods and treats when you’re on the mend." Cowell is also doing better than doctors anticipated, the source said, "although his friends are reminding him it’s important to heal before rushing back to work."

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Back in May, Cowell told Extra he was doing his very best to stay healthy while quarantining during the coronavirus pandemic. He estimated that he lost about 60 pounds in the year since he started the vegan diet. "I’m doing a bit of cooking. I’m exercising. Funny enough, more during this time as well, sticking to the diet," Cowell said, adding that it was still difficult to pass on pizza whenever his son Eric, 6, asks for it. "That’s the number one thing I miss," Cowell said at the time.

Back on Aug. 8, Cowell was testing an expensive new electric bike when he fell off it while Eric and Silverman's teenage son Adam were watching. Cowell was reportedly in surgery for almost six hours that night, and doctors said he barely missed causing spinal cord damage that would have left him paralyzed. One of Cowell's close friends told PEOPLE this weekend he is back home and is "very happy" to take in the "fresh sea air" of Malibu with his family. "He's been doing some work already this week but he also knows he needs to give his back time to heal properly from the surgery," the source told the magazine.

Cowell's injury forced him to miss Tuesday and Wednesday's live episodes of America's Got Talent. NBC brought in Kelly Clarkson at the last moment to replace him. Cowell's fellow judges Howie Mandel and Heidi Klum said they hope Cowell can return before the end of the season.