Veteran British drummer Charlie Watts is set to miss the resumption of The Rolling Stones' tour of the United States next month as he recovers from a medical procedure, a spokesman said Thursday.
The 80-year-old musician's spokesman said he was "unlikely to be available" when the band resumes its "USA No Filter" tour in September, following its postponement last year due to the coronavirus pandemic.
"Charlie has had a procedure which was completely successful, but I gather his doctors this week concluded that he now needs proper rest and recuperation," the spokesman said.
"With rehearsals starting in a couple of weeks it's very disappointing to say the least, but it's also fair to say no-one saw this coming."
Stones frontman Mick Jagger said on Twitter that the band "really look forward to welcoming Charlie back as soon as he is fully recovered".
Drummer Steve Jordan would step in to fill the void left by Watts, "so we can still play all the shows for you this fall", he added.
The Stones restart their tour in St Louis on September 26, with dates also scheduled for Pittsburgh, Nashville, Minneapolis, Dallas and other American cities.
The Sun tabloid reported that Watts underwent a procedure in London after "doctors spotted a problem during a routine check-up".
On Wednesday Watts himself released a statement saying "for once my timing has been a little off".
"I am working hard to get fully fit but I have today accepted on the advice of the experts that this will take a while," he added.
"After all the fans' suffering caused by Covid I really do not want the many RS fans who have been holding tickets for this Tour to be disappointed by another postponement or cancellation.
"I have therefore asked my great friend Steve Jordan to stand in for me."
Watts, known as the quiet man of the scandal-soaked Rolling Stones, was treated successfully for throat cancer in 2004.
© 2021 AFP