LATEST: Franz Ferdinand bassist BOB WARD has left hospital and rejoined the Scottish rockers' American tour.

Ward was rushed to hospital in Tokyo, Japan on 28 November (04) - ahead of the band's gig in Nagoya - suffering from gastroenteritis.

DINO, from support band THE BEAT UP covered while Ward was being treated - and the band moved onto America last week (1DEC04).

But Ward was able to return to the stage in Meadowlands, New Jersey last Friday (3DEC04).

He explains the lengthy absence, "If I'd have left the hospital too early there was a good chance my illness would have worsened again and I might have ended up back in hospital somewhere in the US."

His bandmates, meanwhile, are able to see the funny side of Ward's illness.

Frontman ALEX KAPRANOS says, "I think he ate something that didn't agree with him. It could've been one of many things he ate," and drummer PAUL THOMSON jokes,

"He just picks things up and puts them in his mouth. He's like a baby."

08/12/2004 14:07