Slayer Guitarist Hospitalized With Flesh-eating Disease

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February 14, 2011 | 9:25pm EST

Heavy rocker Jeff Hanneman has been forced to pull out of Slayer’s upcoming tour after he was hospitalized with a nasty flesh-eating disease.
The thrash metal guitarist is suffering from necrotizing fasciitis, a rare bacterial virus which attacks skin, fat and body tissue.

Reports suggest Hanneman became ill after being bitten by a spider, and he is due to undergo surgery on his right arm in a bid to treat the disease.

In a statement issued to, Slayer frontman Tom Araya says, “Jeff is our brother, we’ve all been friends and together as a band for almost 30 years. We just want him to recover as soon as possible.”

The rocker’s Slayer bandmates have chosen to forge ahead with their tour commitments, and will head out to Australia later this month with a guest guitarist in Hanneman’s place.

And lead guitarist Kerry King reveals the sick star is fully behind their decision after Slayer had to axe gigs last year due to Araya’s own health issues.

King adds: “After everything that’s happened we all agreed that we just can’t let our fans down again.

“Jeff is totally on board with the decision, so we will tour as planned. We can’t pinpoint what day he’ll be back, but it will be as soon as he possibly can. We can’t wait for him to get better and get his ass back on the road.”