Simon Cowell was almost left paralyzed after falling from his electric bicycle back in August, and now his friends are saying that he is taking longer to recover than initially expected.

Following an intense six-and-a-half-hour surgery to reconstruct his damaged spine, Cowell was said to have been “millimeters away” from never being able to walk again, the Daily Mail reports.

It’s believed that Cowell has been hiding behind closed doors at his Malibu home, with rumors claiming that he’s bed-bound, wearing a back brace and taking multiple high-strength painkillers daily.

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With the help of a full-time nurse, plenty of medications and the support of family and friends, his health has certainly improved, but if fans thought that the father of one will return to reality TV anytime soon, they are mistaken.

After the bike crash, it was initially said that Cowell would reinstate his position as a judge for the finals of America’s Got Talent before flying back to the U.K. to tape the remaining episodes of Britain’s Got Talent.

But his team was later rocked by doctor’s orders stating that he was in no shape to even consider leaving his home after complaining about the excruciating pain that came with his complex surgery.

“He is building up his strength but the recovery is taking longer than we hoped. It was a very serious injury and they didn’t fully appreciate that at first,” a source told the Mail.

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“There was initial euphoria that he was all right… Then came the pain.

“He had about six weeks of agony. By early September, it was obvious that he wasn’t going to be ready to physically travel at all for work. He was on high-strength painkillers but he isn’t anymore. He also doesn’t have a live-in nurse anymore.”

The source concluded by saying that Cowell isn’t expected to return to work anytime soon, insisting that the former American Idol judge will be undergoing lots of physiotherapy in the forthcoming weeks while letting his injuries heal.

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By the look of things, it could take a full year before Cowell will be fit to return to reality TV; talks of his comeback aren’t even being discussed at the moment. His team and his family are only focused on making sure he makes a full recovery and won’t be tied to his bed much longer.

“Progress has been made since and he had a three-hour meeting via his iPad this week,” the source continued. “He could not have managed that six weeks ago. He is building up his strength.”

OK! exclusively told readers last month that Cowell’s injuries were “much worse” than what was being reported after the freak electric bike accident earlier this year.

In August, Cowell took a nasty spill after testing out his electric bike — breaking three vertebrae in his back. The king of reality competition shows tweeted after the accident, saying: “Some good advice … If you buy an electric trail bike, read the manual before you ride it for the first time.”

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