(LOS ANGELES) — Kelly Clarkson has taken over for Simon Cowell on America’s Got Talent as he nurses a back injury but she may not be there for long. 

Entertainment Tonight spoke with AGT judges Heidi Klum, Sofia Vergara and Howie Mandel, and based on their feedback, it seems Cowell may be back sooner rather than later. 

Mandel, 64, shared, “We have been told he has been recovering tremendously. I would not count him out before the end of this season.”

“He’s had a six-hour operation and he is already on his feet, which is above and beyond expectation, so I am thrilled,” he added. 

The judges also dished that, although Clarkson does a great job filling in, they can’t help but miss Cowell. 

Klum, 47, admitted, “Obviously we miss the boss. There is no one who could actually take his place, even though Kelly did absolutely amazing today. [She did] an amazing job and she had so much fun, but no one is like Simon. That is just the way it is.”

Mandel agreed and said, “I think that Simon is irreplaceable and Kelly was brilliant. She’s done it. She’s a pro. She brings something to the table.”

Vergara, who is new to the AGT judging panel, echoed the same sentiment.

“I want Simon back. This is my first time. I want things to be normal,” the 48-year-old actress said.  

As previously reported, Cowell broke his back in several places after crashing his e-bike on Sunday.  The media mogul remained in good humor over his injury, as he tweeted shortly after coming out of surgery, “Some good advice… If you buy an electric trail bike, read the manual before you ride it for the first time.”

By Danielle Long
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