Simon Cowell said he has fully recovered from his broken back and feels better than he did before the injury as he prepares to make hisreturn.
The TV judge, 61, fell off an electric bike he was testing at his house in Malibu in August.
He underwent six hours of surgery — which involved having a metal rod put in his back — and missed much of the last series of.
US network NBC has announced Cowell will be back on the judging panel alongside Heidi Klum, Howie Mandel, and Sofia Vergara when the show returns this summer.
The music mogul said he felt better than ever. He told:
He then joked: "If you want to feel healthier, break your back," adding that theteam "had a better time without me".
Producers on the TV talent show said they will host a final "last chance" virtual audition in March, with the best acts advancing to perform in front of the judges.
A premiere date for season 16 ofwill be announced later, NBC said.
While the US version of Cowell's show is going ahead, it was announced last month thatwill not take place in 2021 due to the pandemic.
ITV said the programme was pulled from the schedules in order to safeguard "the wellbeing and health of every person involved".