Masaharu Morimoto Recovers from Surgery on Broken Wrist

06/27/2010 at 04:30 PM EDT

Masaharu Morimoto Recovers from Surgery on Broken Wrist
Masaharu Morimoto
Alex Oliveira/Startraks
Iron Chef competitor Masaharu Morimoto's career nearly came crashing down last fall. The Japanese sushi chef was getting out of a hot tub in a New Jersey spa when he slipped on a wet floor and landed backwards on his right wrist.

"I knew right away that I had broken it," Morimoto, 55, told PEOPLE. "I thought, 'What if I can't go back to the kitchen?' My wrist is very important to me – it's my world, my job, my life."

In addition to his weekly gig on Food Network's Iron Chef America: The Series, Morimoto, who made a name for himself creating Miso Cod for Nobu, owns five restaurants (heard of NYC's Morimoto?) in the United States and India and plans to open two more this summer.

Within a day of the accident, Dr. Andrew Weiland of the Hospital for Special Surgery in New York City operated on Morimoto and inserted a very thin titanium plate in his right wrist. "He had one of the more severe fractures I've seen," says Weiland. "He's a big guy, so the impact was pretty great."

For six months, Morimoto worked with a physical therapist doing hand exercises – practicing with a rubber knife – to increase Morimoto’s range of motion. He’s now able to chop and slice fish, yet still has mild swelling in his wrist.

See what other readers have to say about this story – or leave a comment of your own

Your Reaction

Follow Us

On Newsstands Now

Bindi Irwin: Remembering My Dad
  • Bindi Irwin: Remembering My Dad
  • Adam Levine's Wedding Details!
  • James Garner: 1928-2014

Pick up your copy on newsstands

Click here for instant access to the Digital Magazine


From Our Partners

Watch It

Editors' Picks

From Our Partners