For those who don’t remember, guitarist Jeff Hanneman has been forced to sit out of Slayer’s recent performances as he rehabilitates from a spider bite infection on his arm. The band has been able to perform with Exodus’ Gary Holt and Cannibal Corpse’s Pat O’Brien filling in. Since then, it’s been unclear as to when Hanneman will return to the stage. However, it now appears that it could be as soon as this weekend at the Big 4’s U.S. concert.
While he made it clear that it’s still not a guaranteed thing, bassist/vocalist Tom Araya told LA Weekly that Hanneman wants to return in time for the Big 4’s U.S. debut. When asked how the guitarist is doing and whether he’d be able to make it to the show, Araya said the following:
“From what I’m being told, he wants to do the show, but we don’t really know what condition he’s in. He’s obviously doing well enough to play his guitar, so that says a lot that he’s determined to want to play the show. Apparently he’s healing well. He has two tender areas on his arm that cause him pain when he plays the guitar, but he’s eager to play, he’s eager to get back out on the road with us. I know that he’s healing well enough to want to play the show. We’ll see.”
At the very least, it’s great to hear that Hanneman has been recovering well. We got a little scared that his condition was worsening after a second fill-in for him was brought in for more performances. It is unclear as to who would be filling in during the Big 4 U.S. show in the instance that Hanneman is not ready to return. However, this update gives hope that Hanneman could be ready for Slayer’s tour with Rob Zombie this Summer. We’ll keep you posted when more is revealed.