The axeman was absent as the 'Livin' on a Prayer' band played in Alberta, Canada, last night (02.04.13) on their Because We Can tour, and has been counted out of an indefinite number of future shows.
A statement on the band's website read: ''Due to personal issues, Richie Sambora will not be performing on this upcoming leg. All shows will go on as scheduled.''
The reason for Richie's departure has not been given, but it appears to be unplanned, based on comments made by lead singer Jon Bon Jovi during the show.
After taking to the stage late, Jon told the crowd: ''I had two choices - pack up and go home or give you everything I got.
''Richie Sambora won't be performing for a while. If there's ever a night I need you, it's tonight, Calgary!''
Jon reportedly only found out about Richie's absence at 3:30pm that afternoon.
During the show, Alberta radio station Q107's Jeff and Sarah Show tweeted: ''Bon Jovi 45 mins late. Must b teaching an intern how 2 play Richie Sambora parts. Sambora not playing 4 personal reasons (sic).''
They later added: ''BonJovi is dishing out after rocky start sans Sambora. Says Sambora IS NOT in jail or hospital (sic).
''BonJovi calling fans up on stage 2 play air guitar since Richie Sambora is MIA (sic).''
Another Twitter user said Jon had promised to make things up to fans by donating to a local shelter.
User Mookalicious wrote: ''Richie bailed for personal reasons. To make it up, BJ donates $100,000 to #yyc [airport code for Alberta area] shelter.''
It is unclear if Richie will rejoin the tour when it heads to South Africa and then Europe in May.
In 2011 Richie was left out of dates on the band's touring schedule to attend rehab.