The injury: During the dress rehearsal on Monday, March 29th (the full run-through of the entire show), Mark heard his knee 'pop' when he went down on it during the final move in the Jive. (Shannen & Mark changed that move, so the end pose is not the pose in which he injured himself.) He was taken to the hospital and given some shots of pain killers and such to get him through the night. On Tuesday he was in a lot of pain, so he returned to the hospital and got an MRI and spoke with the surgeon that repaired his shoulder (from the end of season 5). He does not have any ACL (anterior cruciate ligament) or MCL (medial collateral ligament) tears. What happened is that the muscle has pulled away from the bone. It needs rest to strengthen and fall back into place. If you know about Shawn Johnson's current knee injury, you can compare: she tore her ACL and MCL and had to have surgery to have it repaired. She had 6 weeks of no walking and 6 full months of recovery (she's in month #2 and ahead of schedule). Mark's injury, if he stays off his knee, is less severe (though not less painful). He claims that he will be recovered after a maximum of 6 weeks & a minimum of 3 weeks. He shouldn't need surgery, just lots of rest. :)
Some other tidbits: Mark was planning (if Shannen wasn't eliminated) on flying his father, Corky Ballas, in to work with Shannen during the weeks rehearsals. Mark would still have choreographed the routines and claims that he was going to try to dance on Mondays. (I'm not happy about that - I mean, I love Mark's dancing, but he needs to take care of himself!) Derek learned the routine quickly on Monday and danced it with Shannen once, just in case Mark couldn't dance. Shannen revealed in a backstage interview that her dress rehearsal was very poor and she even stopped mid-way, forgetting that you can't get a 'second take' in dancing. ;) So, using the dress rehearsal footage to be judged would have been a bad idea. Having Derek step in and dance with Shannen was a better option for them, to give her the best opportunity for a good score. Of course, we know, Mark returned to the studio and ended up dancing.
Here is the picture Mark posted of his poor knee (and some new lyrics he is writing):
photo copyright Mark Ballas