By Michael Ausiello
September 17, 2010 at 12:00 PM EDT

Image Credit: Monty Brinton/CBSFirst the good news: Big Bang Theory star Kaley Cuoco is expected to make a full recovery in the wake of a weekend horseback-riding accident that left her with a fractured leg.

Now the bad news: It looks like the CBS hitcom will be Penny-less for more than one episode.

Although a Warner Bros. spokesperson declined to comment, a Big Bang source confirms that Cuoco—who remains hospitalized in Los Angeles—is now expected to miss “a few” episodes; initial reports had her missing just a single episode.

Additionally, the show—which was previously scheduled to go on hiatus next week—will shut down production for an additional week. Producers will use the extra downtime to determine how best to explain Cuoco’s absence onscreen (Mandi Bierly’s got a few ideas!).

The source points out that Big Bang‘s air schedule will not be impacted by the disruption, which comes as the series is making a high-profile move to Thursday nights. Judging by how well Sheldon & Co. performed in repeats last night, industry analysts (read: me) expect next week’s fourth-season premiere to trounce the competition.

And I repeat: Get well soon, KC!