Scott Hamilton is conferring with surgeons "to get as many opinions as possible" before he decides what course to take with his latest physical challenge.
"In December, I took a fall and tore up my shoulder, so I have to have surgery. I've never had that happen before," says the beloved Olympic Gold Medal-winning skating great.
Having completed his latest turn as rinkside commentator for NBC last month, he reports, "With my responsibilities with the Olympics, January and February were almost gone, so today was the first day I was back on the ice and my shoulder was really limiting me. I'm hoping to get it repaired this month. I can't sleep, so it's time to get it fixed."
If anyone can make that happen, it's Scott, a survivor of testicular cancer and a brain tumor. He talked to this column last year about his amazing journey from pot-bellied and unhealthy shape back to performance-ready form after five years away from the ice -- thanks to grueling hard work. The public will get a chance to see some of that journey tonight (3/8) on the Bio Channel's two-hour special, "Scott Hamilton: Return to the Ice."
"I figured if I'm going to put myself through this much agony, I might as well document it," says the 51-year-old Hamilton with a laugh. "I never anticipated going back to skating ever, but I was letting myself fail physically. I wasn't pushing myself to be as healthy as I could be.
"The first six months back were frustrating, because I didn't have anything. I was trying to get my body to get to the point where I could try stuff," he explains, "but there were elements that were a part of this process that weren't ever in my skating career before -- fear and uncertainty. I'd go to do something and I'd almost start laughing, because I couldn't figure out how to make my body do it."
Finally, Hamilton was back to skating an hour a day and he performed for the first time at his 10th annual cancer-fundraising show "An Evening With Scott Hamilton and Friends." Now, his shoulder injury has him sidelined once again for a few months.
A LITTLE OLDER, NOT EXACTLY WISER: Disney Channel heartthrob Jason Dolley, 18, takes a step toward maturity with the April 4-debuting "Good Luck Charlie" -- about a household in which the teenagers take care of their baby sister while the parents are away at their respective jobs.
"They're sort of going for a 'Full House' kind of feeling with this show," says Dolley, "something families can watch together. It definitely resembles a classic family sitcom. We get to have, like, family dynamic stuff that goes on. The things that come up on the show are real-life conflicts. I think it's a balance of things that kids will like and adults will like. It's awesome."
Dolley, who played the mop-haired Newt Livingston on the Channel's very broad, very kid-oriented "Corey in the House" -- and goofed around in a chicken suit in its "Hatching Pete" movie last year -- admits he was anxious to get back in the game.
"'Corey in the House' ended kind of abruptly and I was kind of disappointed that it was over. Working at the Disney Channel was so awesome, I was like, 'I want to get in there and do more of that.' Then, this script came to me and it's a more grown-up character and a more authentic show and I thought, 'Wow, this is the best of both worlds.'"
But, his new character isn't exactly a model of responsible near-adulthood.
"P.J. is the oldest brother in the household. His heart's in the right place, but I guess it's like his little brother puts it: 'He's not very 'thinky.'' P.J. easily misses things. He's not dumb, but he's a little bit in his own world."
THE SHAPE OF THINGS: Julie Benz is proud to have the body to play a stripper on "Desperate Housewives" at age 37. The former "Dexter" leading lady tells us, "I'm an exercise junkie. I also feel like, my mentality is, I embrace who I am and where I'm at. I don't consider myself be to be extremely thin. I'm very physically fit, but I'm not like this anorexic thinness. I've got these thighs and I've got this a-- and I love to eat."
AWARD TO THE WISE: Sure, there are lots more disappointed Oscar nominees than there are winners this morning, but those illustrious nominations still mean an awful lot.
Ernest Borgnine, who was selected to receive the Publicists Guild's Special Award of Merit in recognition of his long career at the organization's 47th Annual Awards Luncheon last week, points out, "I didn't win the Emmy last year (for his guesting on 'E.R.'). But, I always feel like if you're nominated, they're at least thinking of you. I thought being nominated was just as good," claims the 93-year-old Borgnine.
The Oscar winner for "Marty" (1955) does go on to say, however, "I do have that big golden fella that I won and nobody can take that away from me."
With reports by Emily-Fortune Feimster