Maksim Chmerkovskiy Is 'Making Strides' with His Recovery 'Faster Than Expected' — But When Will He Return to DWTS?
Dancing with the Stars airs Mondays (8 p.m. ET) on ABC
The DWTS pro, who sustained a calf injury in rehearsal two weeks ago, has been sitting out of the competition and supporting his partner Heather Morris from the sidelines as he heals. News of Chmerkovskiy’s injury was announced Mar. 27 on Good Morning America after DWTS cameras caught it in real time, showing the pro dancer in the middle of a spin with Morris when he cried out in pain and clutched his leg.
Last Wednesday, he posted a hospital selfie on Instagram and Twitter late Wednesday evening as he attempted to make a full recovery from his injury.
“Gettin’ un-broken,” Chmerkovskiy, 37, captioned a photo that showed him in a surgical gown with a IV infusion on the back of his hand.
Although a source told PEOPLE that Chmerkovskiy will not perform “for a few weeks” — and the pro dancer himself wasn’t even sure about when he will return — it appears that he’ll be making his comeback much sooner.
On Monday night’s Vegas Night of the reality dancing competition series, Chmerkovskiy gave an update to audiences about when he’ll be dancing again.
“What is the latest with you?” co-host Erin Andrews asked the pro dancer.
“I’m walking now. I’m making strides a little faster than expected,” he revealed. “I’m hoping for like a full comeback end of this week. And then we’ll start rehearsing —.”
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Speaking with PEOPLE after Monday night’s episode, Chmerkovkisy revealed that he hopes to return in two weeks. “Not this week. My goal is next week. This week I just don’t want to do something stupid and regret it. I want to do the right thing. If this is the result of one week then I’m sure I’ll be more than ready,” he said.
Though he won’t be dancing with Morris leading into week four, he will be with his celebrity partner and fellow pro dancer Alan Bersten, who is filling in for him, throughout rehearsals. “This is again going to be a joint effort. I was well on top of what was happening with tango. I’m just interested in her growth and potential,” said Chmerkovskiy.
The DWTS pro also revealed that after his procedure in Ohio, his body was “primed to heal itself” because he has been taking care of himself.
“I was walking three days in. It’s pretty wild. I’m trying to get back 100 percent,” he said. “I’m just trying to come back and dance.”
“Nobody likes being in pain. But when we kept saying throughout our life some people ask us how is it being a dancer? This is how it is,” he told PEOPLE. “I want to come back and give Heather the best chance to win this competition. I think she should be given that chance.”
To keep in touch with his fiancée Peta Murgatroyd and son, Shai, while he was away receiving treatment in Ohio, the new father looked to FaceTime. “I didn’t see him for exactly a week and it seems like he’s twice the size. He makes different noises now and I’m p—ed that I missed that,” he admitted of his son, and added, “He’s very cute.”
Dancing with the Stars airs Mondays (8 p.m. ET) on ABC.