HOT favourite, Natalie Gumede is ‘determined’ to appear on this weekend’s Strictly Come Dancing – the UK ball-room television show – despite battling an agonising back problem.
The former Coronation Street star has been diagnosed with a ‘compressed disc and sciatica’ after been struck down in pain during training with professional partner Artem Chingvintsev.
But after undergoing physiotherapy and steroid injections on Thursday morning, the 29-year-old actress has vowed that she will be fighting fit again by Saturday night’s show.
A Strictly Come Dancing spokesperson told MailOnline: “Thankfully Natalie hasn’t slipped a disc, but she is suffering from a compressed disc and sciatica.
“This is when the central bit of a vertebrate bulges out due to tear in the outer, fibrous ring of the disc. She has had physio this morning and she is about to have steroid injections to ease the pain.
“She will not train today but is determined to dance on Saturday night. So we shall see.”
Natalie, who recently revealed that her grandfather was the president of Zimbabwe Rhodesia president, Josiah Zion Gumede, had to miss training on Wednesday and went for an MRI scan amid fears that she may have slipped a disc, which could have cast a shadow over her involvement in the BBC One show.
Gumede has already proved to be a dance-floor talent, topping the leader board again last weekend after achieving a score of 36 from the awestruck judging panel for her rumba to Rihanna’s Love The Way You Lie.
Artem said: “We had to finish rehearsal early on Tuesday because of the pain in Natalie’s back – if it is serious she might not be able to continue.”
A show source added: “She had a slight fall in training on Tuesday which may have contributed to aggravating an old back injury.
“She fears the worst and would hate not to be able to perform on Saturday. It may be touch and go, we’ll have to wait and see.”
Natalie, who became the early favourite to win the contest, is due to perform a quickstep to Yeah by Usher if she manages to compete on Saturday.
The actress hit headlines earlier this week when she received a waves of criticism from viewers due to her previous training, which many believe gives her an unfair advantage.
Shortly after signing up for the BBC One show it emerged Gumede was listed as “highly skilled” dancer on her agency CV and worked professionally in the industry until she suffered an injury aged 19.Advertisement
The actress was previously credited for her abilities in cabaret, contralto, jazz dancing, Latin American and tap dancing, having started training at the tender age of four.