Derek Hough Follows Doctor’s Orders, Wears His Neck Brace

Derek Hough Follows Doctor’s Orders, Wears His Neck Brace

04/03/2008 AT 12:00 AM EDT

That grimace on Derek Hough's face Tuesday night wasn't just from the fact that he and partner Shannon Elizabeth were left onstage to sweat out the eliminations. Just before the show's taping the dancer was rushed to the hospital after suffering a scary neck injury while rehearsing the dance for Kylie Minogue's "Can't Get You Out Of My Head."

Per doctor's orders, Hough has to take it easy, which means no dancing, and wearing a foam neck brace, which he took off for the show but has been sporting around town since.

"I'm in a lot of pain," he admitted after the show. "We were in rehearsals today, I was dancing, and there's this move where I whack my head back, and I just felt it go 'pop.' ... It was "snap, crackle, pop", like a box of cereal."

Sister Julianne Hough and Mark Ballas had twenty minutes to re-choreograph the planned number, while Derek was strapped down for a ride to the hospital. "I was on a gurney and everything," Hough said, grimacing, "because with neck injuries they take every precaution. But they took the x-rays and everything, and we found out it wasn't any sort of skeletal damage, and it was more all muscle spasm."

As for what this week holds for the injured dancer and his partner, neither one is quite sure. "It's going to be an interesting week, we don't know what's going to happen," Hough said of his inability to even practice. "It may be a Dancing with the Stars first, Shannon may have to dance with somebody else next week. I might have somebody else come in for practice, and I might just have to direct it." --Reagan AlexanderMaxa/Landov

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