Hines Ward's partner Kym Johnson returned to "Dancing With The Stars" on Monday night's show just days after suffering a neck injury that landed her in the hospital.
Backstage, the dancer told OnTheRedCarpet.com that she was wearing her neck brace from the accident on Friday up until the moment she hit the stage to perform and Ward iced his partner's neck as he talked about how hard it was to see the fateful moment where he fell on his partner in slow motion.
"Unfortunately, I caught the second [replay] and it was in slow-mo and I just got sick to my stomach, considering she's been doing this her whole life, you know, passionate about dancing and at the blink of an eye, it can all get taken away from you," Ward told OnTheRedCarpet.com. "So I was just blessed to have her on the stage and dancing. When we finished the routine, I didn't even care about the score, I was happier about her and me dancing together again."
Despite her potentially paralyzing accident, Johnson was in good spirits and praised her partner for helping her out and dancing his heart out.
"Well, I mean I think Hines has deserved perfect scores since a few dances ago, I'm his biggest fan," Johnson told OnTheRedCarpet.com. "He really got me through it and I just feel really blessed and lucky that I'm actually here, standing up and dancing."
Ward didn't know the fate of his partner until Monday morning but managed to crack a few jokes.
"It's been a trying week for the both of us, I didn't even know until this morning that Kym was going to be cleared by the doctor, so you can understand, I got no sleep last night," Ward told OnTheRedCarpet.com. "I was up worrying who's gonna be my partner, going over the routine and over-analyzing every step and all that stuff, but you can't speak enough of Kym, stepping up, taking that neck brace off and coming out, she's a little drugged up on Vicodin now though, so you watch what she says. She's still high now though."
The 34-year-old Australian pro-dancer and Ward appeared teary-eyed as all of the judges each gave them a perfect 10 for their Tango and later they received another perfect 30 points for their salsa, making theirs the first perfect score of the season.
While waiting for her score backstage with Brooke Burke, Johnson said, "I feel so blessed and lucky to be okay."
"She's a warrior, I love her," Ward added.
Johnson was admitted to a Los Angeles hospital on Friday, May 13, after falling and injuring her neck during a practice session.
She and the Pittsburgh Steelers football star are one of four finalists and are frontrunners in the 12th season of ABC's ballroom dancing show. The other three celebrities left on the series are "Karate Kid" actor Ralph Macchio, actress Kirstie Alley and Disney Channel star Chelsea Kane.
Johnson said on her Twitter page on Saturday that she was feeling better and that he her mother had come to visit her.
"I feel so incredibly blessed and lucky not to be injured worse and to have the most caring sweet partner in Hines," Johnson Tweeted on Sunday.