Maksim Chmerkovskiy has been MIA for Dancing With the Stars 2013. He performed on Season 16, Week 5, but he's not one of the competing pros, much to the disappointment of his fans. Is he likely to return for Season 17? According to TMZ, not until he undergoes some major surgery.

TMZ reports that sources "close to Maksim" say that the Dancing With the Stars Powers That Be "desperately" want Maks to return as a full time pro, but that he requires "surgery on one of his ankles" before he can take up a full time role on the show again.

According to TMZ's sources, the difficulty of dancing with untrained dancers on DWTS is the specific source of Maks's ankle problems, and for now the producers are trying to keep him involved in the show in any way possible, such as keeping him around as a choreographer.

This is the first we're hearing about any possible injury for Maks. In his statement about leaving the show, Maks emphasized that he took the season off to pursue other career opportunities (such as his recent General Hospital gig). Plus, he's still under contract with DWTS until 2015 (though, of course, if he's injured he can't dance).

We hope Maks is okay!

Catch the next episode of Dancing With the Stars on Monday, April 22, 2013 at 8 p.m. ET/PT on ABC.

Source: TMZ

Rebecca Martin is an editor at Wetpaint Entertainment. Follow her on Twitter @BeccaDMartin.