Tony Iommi, lead guitarist with veteran metal legends Black Sabbath has been diagnosed with the early stages of lymphoma.
The 63-year-old from Birmingham is currently working with his doctors to determine the best course to treat the cancer and according to a statement released today he “remains upbeat and determined to make a full and successful recovery.“
The band announced in November last year they were to reform the original line up with Iommi, Ozzy Osbourne, Geezer Butler and Bill Ward for a worldwide reunion tour and to record their first album together in more than three decades.
The statement released today went on to say that the band will return to the UK from Los Angeles where they had been recording the album with Rick Rubin to continue work on new material whilst Iommi undergoes treatment.
The original line up are scheduled to headline Download Festival 2012, which will take place between June 8-10 in Donington Park, Derby.
Currently there has been no announcement about forthcoming touring plans but the statement suggests all parties are hopeful of fulfilling future live commitments.
Since the original lineup came together in 1968, the English metal pioneers have scored album sales of 15 million, according to the RIAA.