April 15, 2008 12:00 AM

At the rate his season is going, Derek Hough may as well have a standing reservation at the ER.

For the second straight week a freak occurrence had the young dance professional out of the sequins and into a hospital gown. Last Tuesday, Hough left Dancing With the Stars on a stretcher, only to return in a neck brace, and Monday, he returned a few pounds lighter, after battling a bout of food poisoning.

“I woke up (Monday),” Hough told PEOPLE, “had a protein shake on an empty stomach, and I don’t know, I just started feeling sick, and then I was throwing up for two hours, non-stop.”

The show’s producers were sufficiently worried, so it was back to the hospital for the dancer. “They were worried about me,” he said, a little embarrassed by all the attention, “so they took me to the hospital, but I fell asleep, and when I woke up, I was fine. So against doctor’s orders, I got back here as soon as I could.”

He added: “They did an IV, and took some blood samples, but I was like, ‘I gotta go dance!'”

Hough made it back just in time to dance the Samba with partner Shannon Elizabeth, and is crossing his fingers in the hopes that his ER visits are a thing of the past. “I don’t know what’s wrong,” he said with a sigh, “It’s been kind of a freaky season, but hopefully this will be the end of my hospital days.”

Elizabeth couldn’t agree more. “If he goes back again,” she laughed, “they’re gonna name a wing of the ward after him.” — Reagan Alexander

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