"I wouldn't count out seeing Simon again before this season's end," America's Got Talent judge Howie Mandel said

By Eric Todisco
August 13, 2020 09:21 AM
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Simon Cowell is receiving full support from his fellow America's Got Talent judges as he continues to recover from his recent back injury.

On Tuesday, AGT judges Howie Mandel, Sofia Vergara and Heidi Klum taped the first live episode of the show without Cowell, who underwent a five-hour surgery after he fell off an electric bike at his Malibu home on Saturday evening, PEOPLE exclusively reported.

In lieu of Cowell's absence, Kelly Clarkson has subbed in as guest host.

Speaking to E! News after the episode, Mandel, 64, said that the NBC show was "a little bit in disarray" without Cowell, who also serves as executive producer.

"We were worried about our friend and our boss, and our leader, Simon Cowell, who we hear is doing spectacularly well, considering," the Deal or No Deal host told the outlet.

Howie Mandel, Simon Cowell
| Credit: Rodin Eckenroth/FilmMagic (2)
America's Got Talent season 15
| Credit: Trae Patton/NBC

Mandel went on to share an update on Cowell's recovery. "The latest I've heard is that after a six-hour operation, and some fused discs and the rod put in his back, yesterday, he was up on his feet, already, he's already mobile!"

"So, as I've been saying to a few other people," Mandel added, "I wouldn't count out seeing Simon again before this season's end."

On Monday, a source told PEOPLE that Cowell was still in the hospital at the time but had already tended to his workload, just days after getting a number of fusions and a metal rod put into his back.

“He’s taking it easy but doing well,” the source shared, adding that “Simon is already back at work and he’s been working on email on his iPad and speaking to a few on his team.”

“He’s definitely not letting this slow down all the things he’s got going on,” the source added.

Cowell will miss this week's two live shows as AGT moves forward with production amid the coronavirus pandemic, which halted the season 15 filming schedule. The live quarterfinal rounds will take place over four weeks and will culminate on Sept. 23, when a winner will be crowned during the scheduled finale.

Simon Cowell

Cowell spoke out about his injury and accident on social media on Sunday, the same day his AGT costars and host Terry Crews were taping on the Universal Studios Hollywood lot.

“If you buy an electric trail bike, read the manual before you ride it for the first time. I have broken part of my back,” Cowell wrote. "Thank you to everyone for your kind messages."