Credit: Robert Voets/CBS

Image Credit: Robert Voets/CBSAs Michael Ausiello reported, Kaley Cuoco, who plays Penny on CBS’ The Big Bang Theory, broke her leg last weekend in a horseback-riding mishap. She’s been written out of one episode, and the cast and crew are now on a pre-planned week-long hiatus, which, no doubt, is suddenly being used to determine how to incorporate her cast — or her prolonged absence — into the show.

Let’s assume we all want Penny back as soon as Kaley has recovered enough to hobble onto a set, and go from there. From photos I’m seeing on CBS’s press site, Penny and Sheldon (Emmy winner Jim Parsons) continue their unlikely bonding — one of the best parts of the show — in season 4’s first episodes. In the Sept. 23 season premiere, “The Robotic Manipulation,” Penny finds herself along for the ride when Sheldon goes on the first date of his life (with guest star Mayim Bialik). In the Sept. 30 episode, “The Cruciferous Vegetable Amplification,” Sheldon realizes he won’t live long enough to download his consciousness into a robot body and attempts to extend his lifespan — which apparently involves working out with Penny (pictured). My thought: The writers should use the injury to explore that friendship more by having Penny become a captive, immobile audience (unlike when she dislocated her shoulder in the shower and Sheldon cared for her). {C}She could break her leg off-screen — maybe on an acting audition that she describes in hilarious detail to the guys in the ER — and after a prolonged scene of them trying to carry her up the stairs (the elevator in their building doesn’t work, so they don’t even have to fudge that), she decides they’ll never be doing that again. For the foreseeable future, she’s not leaving their floor. She’s reliant on them for everything. Leonard could want to nurse her, but not wanting to lead him on, she could prefer Sheldon, which starts a competition between the boys. Writers could also introduce a new friend or relative of Penny’s, who stops by for an episode or two to help her out in her time of need.

Your turn. Suggestions?

Read more: The Ausiello Files’ latest Big Bang Theory scoop

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