Strictly Come Dancing“s Artem Chigvintsev has been forced to pull out of this weekend”s BBC1 show because of his back injury.
Specialists have discovered that the damage, sustained during last Friday”s rehearsals, may not be as bad as it had been thought, but the professional dancer will still have to rest at the weekend.
New Zealander Brendan Cole will be stepping into Artem”s shoes, partnering Australian star Holly Valance on Saturday night.
A Strictly spokesperson said: “Artem was initially diagnosed with a transverse process fracture of the lumbar spine. However the latest medical advice from a spinal specialist following further scans is that he is suffering with a combination of joint and soft tissue injury.
“While this medical advice is more encouraging he will still need to rest, so will not be dancing this Saturday.”
Former Neighbours actress Holly, 28, and Artem, 29, scored 34 out of 40 with their jive at the weekend, the second highest of the night, despite the pain the dancer was in.
The injury was initially diagnosed as a strained muscle while medical tests later suggested he had fractured his spine.
Artem, who won the Strictly glitterball last year with Kara Tointon said: “Thanks to everyone for all the messages and tweets of support, it really means so much.
“I”m sad not to be dancing with Holly this weekend, but I”m grateful that Brendan is quickstepping in to fill my dancing shoes.”
“I”m obviously disappointed I won”t be dancing with Artem this weekend, but his wellbeing is very important to me, and Brendan is an awesome guy and we”re working hard to bring something new and exciting to this Saturday”s show,” said Holly.
“It is never nice under the circumstances but I”ll do my utmost to help him and Holly out,” added Brendan.