Strictly Come Dancing star Aliona Vilani looks likely to miss the first live show of the 2012 TV series next week after she fractured her ankle in training, leaving Johnny Ball without a partner.
Pro dancer Aliona, who won last year's competition with her celebrity partner Harry Judd from McFly, suffered a hairline fracture to a bone in her ankle during rehearsals yesterday.
She now faces up to a month of recovery following the accident which means her chances of appearing on the show on October 5 are in jeopardy. Producers are trying to find a stand-in for the early stage of the contest.
Injuries have been an ongoing risk for contestants in the series and last year Artem Chigvintsev had to miss several editions of the show when he suffered a spine fracture. His partner Holly Valance had to temporarily team up with Brendan Cole.
A statement posted on the Strictly website said: "Initial prognosis suggests our plucky pro-dancer may be out of action for the next 2-4 weeks."
Show bosses are expected to issue an update on her condition after a further medical consultation today.
This morning Aliona posted pictures of her ankle online, including one of her preparing for an X-ray.
She said: "The verdict is it's a hairline fracture on the right ankle bone."
The Kazakhstan-born dancer was posting messages to Twitter responding to support from friends and fans, telling them she would have to miss the first show.
"Tweeting from my sick bed - but don't worry I'm being a good patient," she said. "I'm sure in a couple weeks rest, I'll be fine."