Comedian and car collector Jay Leno sustained serious gas fire injuries while working on his 1907 White Steam Car earlier this week but is in good condition, his doctor revealed on Wednesday.
Dr. Peter Grossman, a board-certified plastic surgeon based in Los Angeles, told reporters that Leno suffered “significant burns to his face and hands” and required a “surgical excision and grafting procedure.” Leno suggested in a previous statement he would be back on his feet in a couple of weeks. His doctor, however, said it may take longer than that.
“He seems to be a gentleman who really doesn’t want to make a big deal of this,” said Grossman, according to Fox News. “He wants to get back to work, that’s what he does. I had to tell him that he needs to step back a bit and that these things take time.”
Grossman said Leno had already undergone one surgery, and would need another later this week. He said Leno may have suffered second or third-degree burns and described the situation as fluid.
“Burn injuries are progressive and dynamic,” said Grossman. “It’s hard to predict what the final outcome will be at this stage.”
According to a report from the entertainment website TMZ, Leno was working to repair a clogged fuel line when a leak caused gasoline to spray over his face and hands. A spark then caused an explosion, which ignited the gas.
Leno told TMZ that his friend Dave, who was in the garage with him at the time, was able to smother the flames — otherwise, he said that the fire was serious enough that it easily could have killed him.
His doctor said Wednesday that Leno was in good spirits, and was even helping with other patients and giving children cookies.
“We’re very happy to have him as part of our team,” the doctor said.
Virginia Kruta contributed to this report.