EXCLUSIVE: 'DWTS' Stars Talk Maksim Chmerkovskiy's Impending Return: 'It's Not the Same Without Him'
By Rachel McRady
It’s been a tough road for Dancing With the Stars pro Maks Chmerkovskiy for the past few weeks. The 37-year-old dancer suffered a calf injury earlier this month and had to take time off from the ABC competition. But on Monday night, Maks was back in the ballroom, not showing off his moves, but to support his partner, Heather Morris, and his fiancée, Peta Murgatroyd.
“I’m hoping for a full comeback [by the] end of this week and then we’ll start rehearsing,” Maks told the audience during Monday’s show.
ET’s Nischelle Turner spoke with some of Maks’ co-stars about his stem cell procedure and recovery backstage.
“I was surprised. I'm overestimating his age, I guess. But he looked great. I hope he's back soon. It's not the same without him,” Maks’ brother, Val Chmerkovskiy, told ET. "We're each other's biggest fans. I'm his biggest fan, he's my biggest fan [since] way before the competition. So we compete, but we compete with each other, not against each other."
Murgatroyd was also pleased to see her man up and about, telling ET, “It was nice having him here. He's going to be back soon I think… I don't know if he'll be dancing next week, but the next week after he will definitely be dancing.”
Fellow dance pro Sharna Burgess could relate to Maks’ struggle to heal as the competition goes on. She previously had to handle a knee injury while on the show.
“I love having him back here so quickly. He saw the same doctor that I did last season when I hurt my knee,” she said. “I know he was in the best hands possible and hopefully we'll see him back soon.”
Russian dancer Gleb Savchenko gave his pal some words of warning, saying, “I just wish him a fast recovery. I want him to be very, very careful. I think he should take more time and just recover 100 percent. Not force it, not push himself because you never know. It might come back. You know, so yeah. Hopefully he'll soon, feel good very soon and come back in the competition.”