The singer suffered nerve damage in his right arm and hand stemming from a previous back injury, and he was forced to cancel a number of shows so he could undergo surgery to correct the problem.
Vedder has now revealed he thought the injury would end his guitar-playing for good.
He tells Rolling Stone, "That was a major inconvenience that, when I look back, was really minor. But, you know, in the middle of it, I didn't know if I would play guitar again. I could picture sitting there with (guitarists) Mike (MCCready) or Stone (Gossard), calling out chords. 'No, go to a B-minor! Go to a B-minor-7!'"