By Keith CarmanMedical misfortune has befallen thrash metal progenitors Slayer once again. Guitarist/founding member Jeff Hanneman reportedly underwent emergency surgery on his right arm late last month. He was diagnosed with having contracted necrotizing fasciitis -- kind of sounds like a Slayer song, actually -- a rare yet serious infection also known as flesh-eating disease.
As noted by The Gauntlet, Hanneman's doctor's were unable to pinpoint exactly how he was stricken with the ailment, but strongly asserted that it stemmed from a spider bite. He is expected to fully recover and is currently recuperating at home, having received skin-grafting procedures.
Fans will recall that at around this same time last year, the band were forced to cancel dates due to vocalist/bassist Tom Araya requiring surgery for back/neck issues. Such is the reason they have announced that, in order to honour their February 26 stint with the Australian Soundwave Festival tour and not spend more time sidelined, an as-yet-unnamed guest guitarist will temporarily replace Hanneman.
Commenting on the issue, Araya noted, "Jeff is our brother, we've all been friends and together as a band for almost 30 years, so we're all just crushed by this."
Added guitarist Kerry King, "After everything that happened last year, we all agreed that we just can't let our fans down again. So we will tour as planned. But I'll tell you, we can't wait for Jeff to get better and get his ass back on the road."