First Published: November 16, 2011 2:51 PM EST Credit: ABC LOS ANGELES, Calif. — Caption J.R. Martinez and Karina Smirnoff compete on ‘Dancing with the Stars,’ Nov. 14, 2011J.R. Martinez fell from the top of the leaderboard on Monday night, following an ankle injury, but he told Access Hollywood he is ready to compete in next week’s final. “The ankle is better,” the army veteran and former soap star told Access Hollywood Correspondent Tim Vincent on Tuesday evening. “I had an X-Ray taken this morning and it came back negative. That’s good news. It kind of swelled up just a little bit last night. I iced it, kept it elevated. Nothing major, like a tear or broken… I’m relieved [at] the fact that America voted us through and gave Karina [Smirnoff] a chance to be in the finals, and to show them we deserve to be there.” J.R. said his injury could be healed by a couple weeks off his dancing feet, but he plans to mix rest and training as he makes his run for mirrorball glory. “I have five days to strategically rest it and really pay attention to it, but still work on the routine,” J.R. told Tim. “I’m going to be doing that in rehearsal, going to be taking breaks here or there, 20-30 minutes, icing it from time to time. Just really trying to take care of it and nourish it, because I don’t want to re-injure it.” The actor said he plans to hold nothing back when he and Karina hit the stage – including, a possible lift. “We’ve got our freestyle. It’s a lift… in our freestyle,” he said. “I think America would like to see that lift, and I want to show it to them.” The “DWTS” final kicks off on Monday night at 8/7 C on ABC. Copyright 2011 by NBC Universal, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.