Heavy rockers Slayer have postponed the recording of their next album to allow their guitarist more time to recover as he battles a flesh-eating disease.
Jeff Hanneman was forced to pull out of the band's 2011 tour in February (11) after he was diagnosed with necrotising fasciitis, a rare bacterial virus which attacks skin, fat and body tissue, which he contracted from a spider bite.
Frontman Tom Araya has revealed his pal underwent an operation on his arm and needed skin grafts to correct the damage caused by the disease and is still recovering, telling Billboard, "It's pretty severe what he's going through. He's had skin grafts, and he's got to rehabilitate his arm and get it back in shape again. It's going to require a lot of time."
Hanneman's condition means the band will delay the recording of a new album, while Araya is adamant they won't be working on any new material without him, adding, "There's no way we'd go into a studio without him. As a band we're not going to do something without him... We require his musical skills, his writing skills. He's an integral part of the band. So we're going to hold off until he's at 100 per cent and can join that process and be part of it."
Hanneman made a surprise appearance with Slayer back in April (11) at a show in California and Araya hopes the gig reminded fans about the guitarist's plight: "It was a big deal for him to play - for us it was, too,. We thought that would be a nice surprise for everybody and also make everybody aware that he's still there."