MTO News just got wind of a very interesting piece of gossip, traveling around Hollywood - concerning actor Winston Duke.

According to one of our top snitches, Winston has been injured - and people believe that the actor may have "broken his back."

Winston was cast in the new CBS+Apple TV show Swagger!, which is executive produced by NBA star Kevin Durant.

Winston got the lead role - he plays a coach in the series, which is about high school basketball.

Around the beginning of this month, MTO News learned that Winston sustained an "injury" and that the injury was so severe that he may have undergone back surgery. No one knows for sure how Winston was injured, or the severity - but we're told that it was "bad."

The injury couldn't have happened at a worse time. The show had only filmed one episode, and now production on the rest of the episodes is being held up because of Winston's reported "back injury".

And now a BIG STINK is brewing at CBS and Apple.

Apple was hoping to launch the show to help boost sales of its struggling new streaming service. But with Winston sidelined - the show's release will be postponed. And Apple is PISSED!!

There's a growing feeling that CBS and Apple may be trying to replace Winston - which would be unfair since it's a medical issue that's causing him to miss filming dates.