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The most injury-plagued season of Dancing with the Stars continues!

Monday night, dancer Julianne Hough announced she’ll be having surgery on Tuesday to remove her appendix. The hospital stay means that if her partner, Hannah Montana star Cody Linley, is voted through to next week, he’ll be dancing with Edyta Sliwinska next week while Julianne recovers.

(And bizarrely, Edyta was already voted off DWTS the first week with her partner, comedian Jeffrey Ross, who had suffered an eye injury.)

It’s the first time in DWTS history that a celebrity’s dance partner has had to be replaced during the competition. But Julianne hopes she’ll only be gone from the dance show for one week.

“I’m bummed that Julianne is going to be gone, but on the other hand, I’m going to be dancing with Edyta. I’m excited because she’s an awesome dancer,” Cody told OK! after the show. “It’s going to be fine and Julianne’s a trooper. She’s the strongest woman I know. This is a very common procedure and it’s actually genetic. Her sister, her mom, have gone through the same situation and so my love and support and prayers go to her. I’m going to be there to support her through this whole thing but I know she’s going to be okay and hopefully be back in a week to dance with me again if I’m still around. We’ve all told her, ‘take all the time you need’ but….she wants to dance. She’s so determined.”

Cody, who earned 23 for his samba with Julianne Monday night, admitted that if voters send him to the next round, he’s going to have to deal with the fact that substitute partner, Edyta, is taller than he is! “I’m just going to tell her to wear low heels and I’ll have to really stand tall, like I should.”

Warren Sapp, who got a strong 25 for his rumba with partner Kym Johnson, can relate to Julianne. He had his own appendix taken out when he was 13 — and showed OK! the scar to prove it! While Kym said Julianne “is tough” and could easily return to DWTS in a week, Warren shook his head: “You can’t come back in a week with an appendectomy,” he said. “That ain’t a good one. If you don’t get it fixed and it ruptures, you can die from it. Mine got ruptured from an orange seed.”

Julianne’s operation also follows Misty May-Treanor having to leave the show after rupturing her Achilles tendon and Susan Lucci and Brooke Burke’s foot injuries, which have caused them discomfort on DWTS.

While Susan rebounded from her foot problem to receive one of her better scores—a 23, for her mambo—Brooke’s injury might have caused her to be a bit tentative Monday night on the sixth week of competition. The DWTS front runner only earned a 26 with her partner, Julianne’s brother Derek Hough. But Derek told OK! Brooke is icing down her bruised right foot and vowed, “It’s not going to slow us down.”

Meanwhile, Lance Bass and partner Lacey Schwimmer got the highest score, 27, for their energetic jive. Lance, who has sometimes underachieved during the competition, told OK! he was very focused Monday night: “I was thinking about what the next step was going to be the entire time. I didn’t have one mess- up.”

Cloris Leachman and partner Corky Ballas got the lowest score of the night, a 15 for their cha cha cha. The dance had judge Carrie Ann Inaba saying no, no, no! “When I speak the truth, people get very angry at me and that’s part of my job,” Carrie Ann told OK! backstage. “It was a bad Cloris dance. There wasn’t enough content. I had to say it. Her best move was an illegal lift!”

With Cloris still riding an incredible wave of popularity, however, Maurice Greene, who scored second lowest, just 21, for his waltz with partner Cheryl Burke, could be in danger of elimination. The judges were “tough” this week, the sprinter said, insisting, “We told a story with our dance.”

There was another surprise on the show when Lord of the Dance star Michael Flatley appeared as a substitute judge for Len Goodman, who is taking a couple weeks off from the center seat. Michael enjoyed his time between Carrie Ann and Bruno Tonioli, telling OK! “I just told the truth.”

By Carole Glines

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