Derek Hough hurt in rehearsal, 'Dancing with the Stars' status unclear
By Christopher Rocchio, 04/02/2008
Dancing with the Stars professional Derek Houghsurvived elimination with celebrity partner Shannon Elizabeth on Tuesday, however his status for the remainder of the competition is apparently questionable due to an injury he suffered prior to last night's live sixth-season results show broadcast.
The 22-year-old professional -- who is participating in his second Dancing with the Stars' installment -- injured his neck while rehearsing a group number yesterday afternoon, OK! Weeklyreported.
"He hurt his neck in rehearsals for the Kyle Minogue number and went to the hospital," Elizabeth told OK!. "He popped something. He has to be on painkillers. They say he's going to be okay but it's going to take some time to heal."
Hough was rehearsing with his sister Julianne and fellow Dancing with the Stars professional Mark Ballas when the injury apparently occurred.
"We've got a more contemporary number this week for Kylie Minogue. And we have a move where our arms kind of come down and we throw the head back. As he threw his head back he cracked his neck," Ballas told KABC-TV, Los Angeles' ABC affiliate. "It bothered him immediately, so we stopped. He walked off the floor."
Ballas added Derek was "immediately put in a neck brace to hold it stable" before he was taken to the hospital to have it "checked."
"Luckily, there was no vertebra, disk, or spinal damage," Ballas told OK!. "It's just a sprained muscle in the back."
While initial reports claimed Derek was expected to be fine for next Monday night's performance episode broadcast -- it's uncertain if that's still the case, and Elizabeth opined that she now may be in need of a new professional partner.
"It's ballroom and he can't turn his head to the left right now at all so I don't know how he'll be able to do this," she told OK!. "[Derek] says he's still going to choreograph it but we'll have to get someone to step in and probably rehearse with me."
One possible replacement for Derek is Jonathan Roberts, who was eliminated from Dancing with the Stars sixth-season with celebrity partner Monica Seles following the first round of performances.
"It could be Jonathan or anyone who's got some free time right now," Elizabeth told OK!. "My main concern has been that he's okay. If they told me I'd have to drop out right now, I'd be fine with that just because I want him to be okay because this is his career. This is his whole life. For me, it's a show and when it's over I don't have to keep dancing. He does, so he needs to heal properly."
After the results show broadcast, OK! reported Derek was backstage -- however he was wearing a neck brace and stopped doing interviews in order to rest.
"He's living, which is good," Julianne told OK!. "We were actually really nervous when it first happened. We were kind of freaking out [but] it's just a sprain."
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