Derek Hough is taking a step in the right direction to recovery -- well, figuratively. After news broke that the “Dancing With the Stars” fan favorite hurt himself, Derek’s sister Julianne Hough appeared on "Good Morning America" to discuss his injuries, which occurred while he was rehearsing for the ABC series' 10th anniversary special.
“It is serious,” she confirmed. “I know that he broke his toe on his right foot and sprained his ankle in two different places on his left foot trying to get ice for the toe.”
Derek’s injuries, which caused him to sit out the anniversary performance, could prevent him from competing in the rest of the 2015 season -- unless he can regain his strength and return to the ballroom floor. Julianne explained that Nastia Liukin’s partner is “super bummed” that he has to skip the competition because “he’s super passionate about what he does and he just wants to be there for his partner.”
Performing 10 shows a week at Radio City while rehearsing with Nastia for DWTS, I've never felt more… https://t.co/vsWVspUGg9
— Derek Hough (@derekhough) April 22, 2015
The Olympian Nastia and Derek have been one of the top pairs during the current “DWTS” season and were the first duo to earn a 9 from the judges. "I'm doing everything I possibly can to have a quick recovery and I'm determined to come back stronger than ever," Derek captioned an Instagram image that gave fans a peek at his injury. "This is new territory for me, I'm usually able to work through injury but this one has literally floored me. But like I said before I'm determined to come back all gunz blazing ... soon!!!"
Derek has been pushing himself to the limit. Not only does he have his sights set on winning the Mirrorball Trophy, but he also is starring in Radio City Music Hall's “New York Spring Spectacular,” giving 10 performances a week. (His injuries have caused him to be replaced by Taylor Frey.)
Sharna Burgess, a fellow “DWTS” competitor, dished to E! News on Tuesday that she thought her friend’s injury was fate. “I do, in some way, believe this was the universe saying Derek, you need to take a break," the professional dancer said, adding that her heart goes out to Nastia for having to switch partner’s midcompetition.
“For her to now have to change pros, it's like changing a language, changing a connection and changing trust. It's really difficult,” Sharna said. “She's incredibly talented, I know she will handle it beautifully, but it's not fun.”
Nastia will continue striving for gold in the Season 20 competition with Sasha Farber, a longtime member of the show’s troupe. “DWTS” viewers got a taste of their chemistry during the anniversary performance. However, Sasha is confident that Derek will be back, fighting for the title of “DWTS” champion before we know it.
“Derek will continue. He’s a trouper, he’s a fighter,” Derek’s stand-in said on “Good Morning America.”
“Dancing With the Stars” airs Mondays at 8 p.m. EDT on ABC.