A "setback" in Simon Cowell's recovery from surgery to repair his broken back could keep him confined mostly to his bed for another six months.
That's according to a friend of the "America's Got Talent" producer, who's been at home in Malibu, California, since August, when he confirmed he was injured badly while riding an electric bike for the first time.
"It's been a rough few weeks," the pal reportedly told British tab The Sun. "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. Instead, he's had a setback from surgery to fuse two vertebrae and it has proven more complicated than a standard break."
Simon, 61, broke his back in three places as a result of the accident and is now taking a course of "very strong painkillers" as he's cared for by nurses, 24/7, while mostly bedridden at home, the outlet reports.
At this point, he's reportedly in too much pain to record video messages for "America's Got Talent" when the show returns next season. (He didn't record anything for Saturday's "Britain's Got Talent" finale, either; the show wrapped up Saturday with a win for Jon Courtenay.)
A source tells The Sun that while Simon is, "joking and in decent spirits, 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."
The report comes after an update from Howie Mandel, who said in August that his co-star was "doing spectacularly well, considering" the injuries he'd suffered. At that point, Howie said he was able to walk.
When he crashed, Simon was riding a Swind EB-01, which is marketed as "the world's most powerful and most advanced electric bicycle in the market" and is banned in the U.K. He was trying the e-bike out at home in his courtyard at the time.
As news of his accident made headlines, the "AGT" star urged his Twitter followers to be more careful than he had been.
"Some good advice, if you buy an electric trail bike, read the manual before you ride it for the first time," he semi-joked in August. "I've broken part of my back. Thanks for all the your kind messages."