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Injured Natalie still being backed to dance to Strictly success

| 19.10.2013

Natalie Gumede may have spent more of the past week at Harley Street than on the dance floor, but that has not stopped more money flocking on the actress to win Strictly Come Dancing.

Having previously been available at 15/8 to win the show, the latest wave of support for the former Coronation Street star has seen her price shorten to 6/4.

A professional dance career was in the pipeline for Natalie in her younger years before a back injury curtailed these dreams and it is now another back complaint that has developed in training for week four of the 11th series of Strictly.

While rehearsing the quickstep, Natalie felt pain in her lower back and the result has been three GP appointments, visits to two back specialists and an MRI scan.

Despite this, Natalie will still be performing the quickstep and it has to be considered a dangerous strategy, given how lingering back pains can be.

With countless weeks still remaining on the show too, it has to be regarded as a doubt over whether Natalie’s back will hold up through the strains of training and rehearsals, even with the use of injections.

British athlete Jade Johnson previously had to withdraw midway through a previous series with injury and it would be no surprise if the same fate eventually impacted Natalie.

With this in mind, the more sensible money has to be going on Sophie Ellis-Bextor in the Strictly betting at 9/4.

Alongside Natalie, Sophie has achieved the highest score of the series so far of 36 with her partner Brendan Cole and follows Natalie on the leaderboard for total points gained from the three dances to have been performed so far.

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Craig Kemp

Craig has written for Ladbrokes since the 2010 World Cup, having previously gained a Media & Sports Journalism degree and contributed to publications including the Racing Post. His main areas of interest are horse racing and UFC, but he is also an avid X Factor gambler and likes nothing more than indulging in a spot of Hip Hop Karaoke.