Phillip Phillips is still on cloud nine from winning Season 11 of ‘American Idol,’ but while he never faulted in the competition, he was battling his chronic kidney problems off camera.

Phillips’ father revealed on Wednesday that the 21-year-old Georgia native had actually endured eight different surgeries while competing on the hit FOX series. “He’s been doing [well], but it’s just grueling hours and it’s just amazing what he’s done through the journey,” Phillips’ dad told PEOPLE. “Eight operations since we started ‘American Idol’ … He’s hitting 50 percent, but he’s still up there swinging away.”

However, the battle isn’t over. The ‘Idol’ champion will undergo yet another surgery in the next few weeks to have his kidneys reconstructed. Not to worry, though, ‘AI’ fans. He’s expected to recover just in time for the kickoff of the ‘American Idol’ tour on July 6 in Detroit.

“I’m going to get some surgery done, so I’m going to get all better for the tour,” Phillips said. “It was very tough [getting through the season]. I had great doctors and great people surrounding me [who] really helped out, so it’s just a blessing to be here.”

Phillips Phillips Talks About Incomprehensible ‘Idol’ Win