'Dancing With the Stars' pro Maks Chmerkovskiy injured, in 'excruciating pain'

Maksim Chmerkovskiy.
Maksim Chmerkovskiy.Craig Sjodin / ABC / Today

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By Michael Maloney

"Dancing With the Stars" pro Val Chmerkovskiy had a great night Monday, as he and his celeb partner Zendaya’s cha-cha-cha'ed their way to an impressive score of 29 points. But what about his big brother Maksim Chmerkovskiy -- the pro who's taken a break from the ballroom most of this season?

After Monday's performance, Val spoke to reporters about recent claims that Maks is suffering from injuries that could prevent him from returning to the competition next season.

“I don’t know anything about that,” Val said about Maks' ability to return. “He has a pain in his ankle and in his back. It’s embarrassing to say but I think he has a bunion issue. It’s an extreme situation where it’s growing into (something) that’s causing him excruciating pain. That’s what he’s got along with the whole ankle thing.

“He’s got a lot of issues,” the pro dancer added.

But he has no issues when it comes to "Dancing With the Stars."

“Maks loves the show,” affirmed Val. “But he’s been doing it for seven years. It’s been an amazing ride. If he doesn’t transition into something else then he’ll always be ‘Maks, the dancer from Dancing with the Stars.’”

Val noted that his brother is aware of the changes that have gone on at the show this year, including the addition of three new pros -- Sharna Burgess, Lindsay Arnold and Gleb Savchenko.

“There’s a new wave of talent and energy. The show is changing. Maks is happy to see the change. He’s proud, but it’s time for him to do other things.”

Does that include acting gigs, in addition to his recent stint on "General Hospital?"

“He wants to pursue that,” Val said. “And he’s entitled to do that and other things, things that he loves to do without any scrutiny.”