It's been nearly three months since Simon Cowell broke his back while testing out an electric bike at his home in Malibu, Calif. And while his recovery process hasn't been easy, it seems the America's Got Talent judge is finally feeling like himself again.
"Simon was walking around looking energetic and perfectly happy," says a source who saw the star, 61, running errands on October 18 with longtime love Lauren Silverman and their son, Eric, 6. "Even though Simon was clearly taking it easy, he seemed to be in great spirits."
It's a far cry from just a few weeks ago. "He's found the rehabilitation process difficult, especially since it's meant a prolonged absence from his job," explains the source, adding that workaholic Cowell felt "a real panic" about his inability to attend meetings.
"Thankfully, he's over the worst of it now, and everyone's delighted to see him back on his feet," the insider adds.
In August, Cowell revealed he was recovering from an accident and poked fun at his clumsiness. "Some good advice … If you buy an electric trail bike, read the manual before you ride it for the first time," Cowell tweeted after the scary incident. "I have broken part of my back. Thank you to everyone for your kind messages. And a massive thank you to all the nurses and doctors. Some of the nicest people I have ever met. Stay safe everyone. Simon."
The TV personality went through a six-and-a-half-hour operation and had a rod inserted into his spine and was ready to get back to work after spending a week at the hospital. However, things were not so easy for his strained back.
"The injuries are much more dramatic than anyone has been saying," a source close to Cowell exclusively told OK!. "Simon is in a lot of pain, and at 60 years of age, recovering from something as horrific as breaking your back takes a long time."
"The fact that Simon’s return date to his baby AGT hasn’t been announced yet tells you everything. He created this show, and it is more important to him than anything else in his career," the insider added. "It is a multi-million-dollar global franchise he created and owns. If the shows were taped, he would have tried to make it as a judge, but he can’t risk it on a live show in his current state."