Maks Chmerkovskiy, who left “Dancing with the Stars” after last season but returned for a guest appearance last week, is in severe pain from bunions, revealed his brother Val Chmerkovskiy.
“He’s really embarrassed to say but I think he’s got some sort of bunion issue,” Val told reporters at “DWTS” on Monday night. “But an extreme situation where it’s growing into—he’s saying it’s excruciating pain.”
Dancers are often known to get bunions, deformities that result when the big toe points towards the second toe and causes a bump to appear on the outside edges of people’s toes. Many doctors think that bunions result from wearing tight-fitting shoes.
Val, who is paired with Disney star Zendaya Coleman this season, also said Maks “has pain in his ankle, pain in his back. He’s got a lot of issues.”
The topic of Maks’ health came up after the website TMZ reported that sources said DWTS producers want the dancer to return to the show as a pro next season — but it might not happen because he needs ankle surgery.
Val said he didn’t know anything about producers trying to get his brother back on the reality show. When xfinityTV asked Maks about his status last week — after he performed with his brother and Zendaya and former fiancé Karina Smirnoff and her partner Jacoby Jones — the controversial pro said, “My departure from the show, whether it’s permanent or not, it’s none of anybody’s business. It’s something we’re going to be keeping to ourselves.”
Meanwhile Val, who scored a near-perfect 29 in his terrific cha cha cha with Zendaya on Monday, said about a possible Maks return: “That’s up to him. He loves the show. He loves doing this but he’s been doing it for seven years. It’s been an amazing ride and I feel like, if he doesn’t come out of this and transition into something else, he’ll always be Maks the dancer from Dancing with the Stars and he doesn’t want that to define him as a person or career wise. He feels like he’s paid his dues. He’s ready to move on. What else does he have to do? There’s a new wave of talent, a new wave of energy. The show is changing in a good direction and he’s happy to see the change. I think it’s time for him to do other things.”