Simon Cowell is lucky not to be paralyzed after a horrific bike crash, breaking his back in three places, friends of the “America’s Got Talent” host tell us.
The 60-year-old underwent a six-hour operation Saturday, while his longtime girlfriend, Lauren Silverman, waited nervously. Doctors said he narrowly missed severing his spinal cord.
A source said: “He did a turn in his courtyard, changed gear, and then the bike went into a wheelie and threw him off the back . . . Simon was in complete agony and was stretchered out of his home and taken in an ambulance to hospital.
“Friends at the scene quickly checked that he could move fingers and toes — he could have been paralyzed . . . When he fell off the bike, he landed right on his back, which broke in a number of places,” the source said, adding that “he had to have a metal rod inserted into his back.”
Cowell was at home in Malibu, Calif., with Silverman, their 6-year-old son, Eric, and her 14-year-old son, Adam, when he fell. “He was in shock and in massive amounts of pain . . . He’s doing OK in the circumstances,” the source said.
The caustic television personality addressed his accident in a tweet on Sunday night. “Some good advice . . . If you buy an electric trail bike, read the manual before you ride it for the first time,” he wrote. “I have broken part of my back. Thank you to everyone for your kind messages.”
The accident means Cowell will miss the first live show of “America’s Got Talent” on Tuesday night. An NBC source said, however, that the show will go on with his fellow three judges — Howie Mandel, Sofía Vergara and Heidi Klum.
He faces a lengthy spell in the hospital, although a pal joked, “Knowing Simon, he’ll be ready to go home as soon as they’ll let him. He’s going to hate being cooped up.”
Cowell turned to biking after embracing a get-fit regimen that saw him lose 60 pounds over the past few years.