'Dancing With the Stars': Hines Ward heads from the finale to surgery

hines-ward-finale-surgery-story.jpgPittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Hines Ward came into Season 12 of "Dancing With the Stars" with a bit of a handicap. He'd undergone knee surgery just a few weeks prior to starting rehearsals.

That clearly didn't stopped him from dominating the competition throughout its 10-week run. But as the mirrorball trophy front-runner told Zap2it after the first night of the finals, it's not the last procedure he'll need before the next football season.

"I'll be in surgery next week," he told press. "I was supposed to do it before 'Dancing With the Stars.'"

Don't worry about Hines, though. It's just a finger. He tore the ligament in his left thumb at the end of last season.

"I'll be healed and ready," he says of his July football training.

Hines actually didn't expect he'd have to put the surgery off as long as he did -- mostly because he didn't expect to make it this far in the competition.

"I've sacrificed a lot," he says, of the demanding schedule. But he also acknowledges that a win during the finale will make the his Steelers homecoming a lot less rigorous.

"I'm sure they'll be a little easy on me during training camp."
Photo/Video credit: ABC