Credit: Adam Taylor/ABC Photo: Dancing With the Stars Season 17, Week 9: Amber Riley and Derek Hough's Quickstep

We have an injury role reversal on Dancing With the Stars Season 17.

A few weeks ago, we were hoping Derek Hough’s back would stay strong enough to keep him in the competition after Amber Riley blogged that he might be too hurt. Now Derek just talked to TODAY about Amber's serious knee pain, which was evident on Week 9, leading to lower-than-usual scores for the couple.

"She literally couldn’t walk," Derek told TODAY. "It was pretty bad."

What comes next? "Now, we’re going to get the MRIs and the injections — all the tricks. We’re going to see what’s going on and assess the situation," Derek said.

It's different when it's his own seasoned dancer's body that's injured — he’s like a Timex watch, he takes a licking and keeps on ticking. But he doesn't want to push things for Amber. As he put it, "Personally, I won’t ever be part of something that risks permanent injury. We’re going to look at everything. If they say OK, then we’re going to make it work and make it happen."

Fingers crossed that the docs say she can still dance at the two-or-three-routines-a-week pace of the Semifinals and Finals (with the Freestyles!). Derek recently said he planned to up the choreography he'd had to hold back for both of their injuries, but that may not be able to happen anymore.

Amber and Derek seem very popular, so they may be able to make the Finals without pushing themselves so hard. Look at Bill Engvall! He’s in the Semifinals with the lowest scores ‘cause he’s dancing out of his comfort zone. Maybe Amber can take that approach.

At this point, however she’s feeling, Amber sounds excited to dance. As she tweeted on November 12, “I am so ready for this rehearsal week, eye of the tiger! Hope you guys day has been great.”

Do you think Amber and Derek will make the Finals, even with her knee pain? Do you think they can still win? Sound off below, and catch Dancing With the Stars on Mondays at 8 p.m. ET on ABC.

Source: TODAY