R+B star Mario's chances of winning the upcoming season of U.S. TV contest Dancing With The Stars have taken a major hit - his professional partner has just undergone back surgery. Just two weeks before the start of the new series, Karina Smirnoff had surgery on Thursday morning (28Feb08). The dancer's former Dancing With The Stars partner and boyfriend Mario Lopez has revealed Smirnoff suffered an injury during the recent Dancing With The Stars U.S. tour. He tells U.S. news show Extra she's expected "to make a full recovery" in time for the launch of the new season on 17 March (08).