March 26, 2012 10:22pm PT by Michael O'Connell
'Dancing With the Stars': Maria Menounos Tackles Quickstep With 2 Broken Ribs
On Monday morning, a few reports popped up that Maria Menounos broke a rib while rehearsing for Dancing With the Stars -- and during the night's performance show, she did mention that she had hurt herself. But that isn't the whole story.
Backstage after the show, Menounos and partner Derek Hough revealed that the Extra host had actually snapped two ribs before the season premiere.
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"We were trying to keep it under wraps because we didn't want to be that couple coming out of the gate," said Hough. "It happened the week before the Cha Cha. She's dealing with a lot, but we just want to smile and dance."
While practicing the Cha Cha, Menounos fell on Hough's knee... twice. She says it took a while to figure out what the problem, mostly because she was already injured at the time.
"I was on a painkiller at that point because I'd already ripped the muscles off the bone a couple days before that," she said, acknowledging the humor in her apparent Achilles heel. "So I was already in pain when it hit."
After a series of Cortisone shots didn't improve the pain, doctors realized that her sprains were actually two breaks. And if she's still in pain, it didn't show much on the dance floor. The duo showed the most improvement in week 2. They nabbed a cumulative 25 for their Quickstep, making their season tally 46.
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"She's healing really well and quickly," Hough told THR. "I've just got to keep her away from hugging people."
Menounos credited Hough's vigilance with her ribs and his choreography with her improved performance.
"I knew it when I got him for a partner that I was so lucky," she said, turning to her partner. "He brings out the best of me, He keeps pushing and pushing and I want that. Don't ever lower your standards."
Watch Menounos and Hough dance, two broken ribs and all, when THR stopped by their recent rehearsal: