[B]NICK MENZA[/B]'s temporary departure from the band is due to a tumour...

Megadeth have announced the reason behind drummer NICK MENZA's (pictured, second left) temporary departure from the band.

Menza was diagnosed with a tumour in his right knee which has been diagnosed as benign following tests, says US music website Wall Of Sound. Initially, no details were given about the nature of Menza's illness when he dropped out of the band's gig schedule earlier this month.

Megadeth brought in former Suicidal Tendencies drummer Jimmy DeGrass to enable them to complete the band's concert commitments. The band are also among the top end of the bill on the American leg of this year's Ozzfest tour.

Megadeth frontman Dave Mustaine posted a message on the band's website ( last week on June 16 saying: "Droogies! I felt it was necessary to fill you in on what is happening with Nick. He told us that he had cancer in his right knee, and was going to have a complete MRI done. The results were evidently unclear as he didn't tell me if they found any cancer or not. He will have surgery on or about June 29."

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