Published May 02, 2012Slayer recently announced that they're prepping new tunes for an upcoming album, but regrettably fans won't get to see guitarist Jeff Hanneman play any new thrash classics on the group's summer tour this year. The six-stringer will continue to take time off from the road to recover from his bout with necrotizing fasciitis (aka flesh-eating disease).
A statement from the band explains that their longtime band buddy won't take part in any of their upcoming dates, which kick off in Europe at the end of May and winds through the U.S. come July. Exodus guitarist Gary Holt will substitute for the ailing musician.
While initial reports of Hanneman's situation were harrowing enough, apparently his condition was much worse than we knew. According to the band, things had got so bad that doctors seriously considered amputating the guitarist's arm.
"As you know, Jeff was bitten by a spider more than a year ago, but what you may not have known was that for a couple of days after he went to the ER, things were touch-and-go. There was talk that he might have to have his arm amputated, and we didn't know if he was going to pull through at all," the statement explains. "It's been about a year since he got out of the hospital, and since then, he had to learn to walk again, he's had several painful skin grafts, he's been in rehab doing exercises to regain the strength in his arm; but best of all, he's been playing guitar."
As previously reported, the band are at least nine-songs deep into writing sessions for their next platter, which Hanneman has been actively involved in. But while he's writing with the group, touring remains off the docket for the next little bit.
"While Jeff's been doing some writing and has been coming to rehearsal over the past several weeks, he has decided he needs to take more time to continue his rehab. While we want him back onstage with the band, all of us support his decision."
Slayer so far don't plan to tour Canada this summer, but you can check their schedule here.