As Dancing with the Stars wraps up its sixth week, a collective sense of fatigue emanates from the cast. Physical fatigue has led to injuries not only for the celebrity dancers but their professional partners, and such was the case for Shawn Johnson's partner Derek Hough when a neck injury flared up that will force him to miss next week.
The former Olympic gymnast revealed that even though she doesn't mind rehearsing with her Season 8 partner Mark Ballas for next week's dance, she is genuinely upset about her partner's injury.
"When he pulled me aside today and said, 'I think they're going to bring Mark in,' my heart kind of sank," Johnson said. "I love Mark [and] I love Derek, but the idea of just seeing him have to bow out for a week...upset me. It was hard."
The normally lighthearted, playful professional dancer has been uncharacteristically serious during his post-show backstage interviews with ET, which may have been a byproduct of his injury. After last night's show, Hough hinted that the injury was a bulging disc as he held an ice pack to his neck.
"Honestly, I've never seen that kind of face and frustration [from him]," Johnson observed. "He's upset, and I understand it. It's really sad. I'm more so worried about him getting better...and taking care of his body than anything. Being a former athlete and competitor, I can just tell how it's eating at him."
Nursing her own recurring injury, which originally prevented her from making her final Olympic gymnastics run, the 20-year-old balance beam gold-medalist said that she's not concerned about the injury despite a recent flare-up.
"My knee is the least of my worries right now," she said. "My knee's doing good [sic]. Again, dancing takes a toll and above all else it is a dancing competition. I'm more worried about...him getting healthy than anything."
Dancing with the Stars continues next Monday at 8 p.m. on ABC.