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"He feels robbed of the chance to do what he does best and feels like he has badly let down the band and their audience, which is, of course, nonsense."
—-Paul McGuinness on Bono's back injury


Live Nation has confirmed that the U2 360° North American Tour Is Off After Singer Is Discharged

Following Bono’s back surgery this weekend, dates on U2’s Live Nation-promoted 360° North American Tour have been postponed until 2011.

The band’s lead singer has now been discharged from Ludwig Maximilians-University (LMU) Hospital in Munich, where he underwent emergency surgery last Friday (5/21), following a back injury. In order to fully recover, he is under doctor's orders to start a rehabilitation program and to recuperate for at least eight weeks.

This will necessitate the postponement of 16 shows on the U2 360° Tour from Salt Lake City on June 3, through to New Jersey’s Meadowlands Stadium on July 19.

Dr. Muller Wohlfahrt confirmed, “Bono suffered severe compression of the sciatic nerve. On review of his MRI scan, I realized there was a serious tear in the ligament and a herniated disc, and that conservative treatment would not suffice. I recommended Bono have emergency spine surgery with Professor Tonn at Munich’s LMU University Hospital on Friday.”

Professor Tonn, who carried out the operation, added, “When Bono was referred to me by Dr. Muller Wohlfahrt late last week, he was already in severe pain with partial paralysis in the lower leg. The ligament surrounding the disc had an 8mm tear and during surgery we discovered fragments of the disc had traveled into the spinal canal. This surgery was the only course of treatment for full recovery and to avoid further paralysis. Bono is now much better, with complete recovery of his motor deficit. The prognosis is excellent, but to obtain a sustainable result, he must now enter a period of rehabilitation."

Added Dr. Wohlfahrt: "We are treating Bono as we would treat any of our athletes, and while the surgery has gone very well, the coming weeks are crucial for a return to full health. In the next days, he will start a light rehabilitation program, with increasing intensity over the next eight weeks. In our experience, this is the minimum time."

Said U2's manager Paul McGuinness: "Our biggest and I believe best tour has been interrupted and we’re all devastated. For a performer who lives to be on stage, this is more than a blow. He feels robbed of the chance to do what he does best and feels like he has badly let down the band and their audience, which is, of course, nonsense. Bono’s concerns about the more than a million ticket buyers whose plans have been turned upside down, we all share, but the most important thing right now is that he make a full recovery. We’re working as fast as we can with Live Nation to reschedule these dates.”

Arthur Fogel, CEO of Live Nation Global Touring, who has previously disputed claims ticket sales were slow for the tour, said: “Although we understand the disappointment to U2 fans, first and foremost comes the recovery of Bono.”

The news comes just as word that summer concert ticket sales were off to a disappointing start as the touring season gets underway.

Additional details on rescheduled dates will follow shortly and fans are encouraged to hold on to their tickets. Visit www.U2.com for ongoing tour updates.