By Terry Kelleher
December 10, 2001 12:00 PM

Rick Schroder

Leaping between foxholes on the Luxembourg set of the World War I drama The Lost Battalion this summer, Rick Schroder suddenly felt an excruciating ache in his back. “It must have been the way I was jumping,” says Schroder, 31, who plays a U.S. Army major in the A&E film, airing Dec. 2. “By the fifth take I couldn’t stand up.”

That injury—which still causes him occasional pain—isn’t the only battle scar Schroder acquired this year. Last spring the actor took some hits when he abruptly left his lead role as Det. Danny Sorenson on ABC’s NYPD Blue. Reports hinted that he was irked by the hiring of fellow ex-child-star Mark-Paul Gosselaar; Schroder said he simply wanted a reduced shooting schedule so he could spend more time at home in Grand Junction, Colo., with wife Andrea, 29, and their brood—Holden, 9, Luke, 8, Cambrie, 4, and Faith Anne, 4 months. “I thought something could have been worked out,” he says. “I was wrong.”

Still, the actor says he has no regrets. With his long Blue workdays, “My kids were suffering,” he says. “Now my son’s on the principal’s list.” And his former colleagues don’t seem to be holding a grudge. When he ran into executive producer Steven Bochco in Malibu recently, “he asked me how the family was doing,” says Schroder. “There are no hard feelings here, from anyone.” Frank Swertlow