Dancing with the Stars competitor Debi Mazar, who suffered a neck injury during her Tuesday night foxtrot relay performance with partner Maksim Chmerkovskiy, spoke to OK! while wearing a neck brace backstage after Wednesday night’s elimination show.

Although happy to have survived the cut, Debi said, “It’s been an ongoing muscle strain that I had in my rehearsals and last night, I had to give it my all and it was just like [makes straining noise]. I woke up today and it was swollen. It got worse so I went to the doctor and I have to have an MRI tomorrow but I’m pretty sure it’s just a muscle spasm. You take ibuprophen and sit and you don’t turn your head in that direction for a while. The doctor said it’s probably going to be a problem that will be ongoing, unfortunately, for this season but Maks is sensitive to it and I think we’ll try to have him support my neck when possible — and I’ll do a lot of praying.”

Debi, who suffered the first dance-related injury of the competition (Kathy Ireland hurt herself surfing before the show began, and Mya cut her finger on a glass) said, “The distance that you have to do it bent backwards for foxtrot is very unnatural to the human body and unless you’re incredibly strong, a lot of the weight is supposed to go into your lower back and I don’t have good lower back strength because of giving birth and I never got it back at the gym. I guess I’m not as strong as I thought,” Debi said.

But next week, Debi will have to do the tango with Maks, and she said, “I can turn right but I can’t turn left. Maybe I can by then? We’re going to work it out.”

The Entourage star was moved watching the Wednesday night tribute to Patrick Swayze, in which Cheryl Burke and Tony Dovolani played the Jennifer Grey and Swayze roles from Dirty Dancing.

“I really cried backstage watching it because I know Jen Grey… Patrick was such a great strong man and to see him have cancer and bring it to the public eye and fight it and go to work and live his life to the very fullest to the end is a real testament to human strength and spirit.” Debi pointed out that Swayze and Dirty Dancing “made shows like this possible.”

BY CAROLE GLINES

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