Country singer Willie Nelson is fighting carpal tunnel syndrome to perform at pal Merle Haggard's annual UFO FESTIVAL in Roswell, New Mexico, and his own annual Fourth of July picnic this weekend (03+04JUL04).

The star plans to sing but won't be able to play guitar at the two concerts and has scrapped all other performance plans in July to concentrate on his recovery from hand surgery.

He says, "Naturally I'd love to play, but it hurts so much that I'm not yearning to play. I'm willing to wait until it's not hurting."

Nelson had surgery in May (04) after he was unable to finish a 8 May (04) show in Las Vegas, Nevada.

The legend is scheduled to return to the road for a month of dates with Bob Dylan in August (04).

02/07/2004 19:46