Mark Ballas Injury Update: Will Paige VanZant Get Her ‘Dancing With The Stars’ Partner Back?

Mark Ballas couldn’t perform with partner Paige VanZant last week on Dancing with the Stars because of a mystery back injury, and fans are anxiously waiting to see if he’ll be back in action this week. Mark seemed pretty down and out during the show last week, so a couple of upbeat social media posts could be evidence that his injury was not serious enough to keep him out for a lengthy period of time.

According to Just Jared, Paige VanZant was photographed heading to dance practice with Mark Ballas and his temporary replacement, DWTS troupe member Alan Bersten, on Wednesday. Paige told MMAJunkie that Mark Ballas hand-picked Alan to dance with her in his place, and Mark definitely made the right choice—Paige and Alan topped the leaderboard with a score of 24 out of 30, even though they only spent two hours practicing together.

Alan Bersten has proved that he’s a perfectly capable partner, but Mark Ballas is eager to get back on the ballroom floor with Paige VanZant. There’s a good chance that the Dancing with the Stars powers-that-be will decide to keep fans in suspense tomorrow night by waiting until the last minute to reveal whether Mark will perform with Paige or not. However, Mark’s recent Instagram posts could be evidence that his back injury isn’t serious. In a video that he posted Saturday, Mark gets extremely excited while watching rehearsal footage on his phone. It’s unclear whether he’s watching himself dancing with Paige, but he’s pretty ecstatic about whatever he sees.

According to Buddy TV, Paige VanZant and Mark Ballas (or Alan Bersten) will be dancing to “300 Violin Orchestra” by Jorge Quintero this week. This is the song that you can hear playing on Mark’s phone in the video above.

Mark shared another Instagram post that could be an indicator of his current mood. He’s seemingly using cryotherapy to treat his injured back, and an elderly lady gave his self esteem a big boost by complimenting him on the underwear he chose to wear in his cryo chamber. Mark shared a photo of the underwear in question, along with his short anecdote about the woman who admired his tighty-whities.

If Mark Ballas is only using cryotherapy to treat his injury, this could be a sign that it isn’t something serious that will keep him sidelined for weeks and weeks. In one of his TV Guide blog posts, Mark’s good pal, Derek Hough, explained the benefits of cryotherapy. He revealed that it’s something he uses as a preventive measure to keep his body in tip-top shape, and it sounds like it’s usually used for pain and minor injuries.

“You go in for two and a half minutes. It’s good for your muscles, fatigue, inflammation, your skin and a bunch of different things,” Derek wrote.

During a Monday night interview with E! News, Mark dropped another big hint that his injury wouldn’t keep him out for long. Even though he hadn’t undergone his MRI and CT scan yet, Mark said that his doctor was pretty certain that they wouldn’t reveal any serious issues.

“The doctor seems to be optimistic, so I’m feeling good about it,” Mark said.

“I just don’t know how quickly. No time-frame yet… but I don’t want to let her down. I want to be there with her, she’s fantastic.”

On Friday, an inside source told PureDWTS that Mark Ballas is still injured and resting his back as much as possible, but he’s not hurt so badly that he’s given up on dancing Monday night. He’s determined to perform the Paso Doble with Paige VanZant, and there’s a good chance that it will pack a punch—tomorrow the stars will be reliving their most memorable years, and Paige’s probably has something to do with her MMA fighting career. If it does, her dance might include a few of her fighting moves.

You can find out if Mark Ballas will be able to perform the Paso with Paige VanZant when Dancing with the Stars airs tomorrow at 8 p.m. ET on ABC.

[Photo by Imeh Akpanudosen/Getty Images for Hollywood Christmas Parade]