October 31, 2004 18:17


The band could need a stand-in guitarist on their winter UK arena tour...

THE DARKNESS’ frontman and guitarist JUSTIN HAWKINS has lost the use of his right hand after reportedly smashing it through a window.

The star was rushed to hospital after defending himself in a drunken scrap with a mystery attacker, reports today’s (October 31) Sunday Mirror newspaper. Hawkins is believed to have been punched in the face and then stumbled into a stained glass winrdow.

Doctors battled fo hours to repair severed tendons and now the star faces months unable to play the guitar. The band now look likely to need to employ a stand-in guitarist for 11 dates on their sell-out winter tour as doctors monitor his progress.

Hawkins was rushed to the £600-a-night Princess Grace Hospital near London's Harley Street after the attack.

He was kept in overnight while surgeons worked on the hand, which received dozens of stitches. Despite being asked to stay three days, Hawkins, who had a general anaesthetic, discharged himself and has been recovering with his partner and manager Sue Whitehouse at their north London home.

The injuries are expected to take at least six weeks to heal and he will require twice-weekly physiotherapy sessions to regain full movement.

However, the band are playing down the incident. A posting on the band's official website reads: "Justin has cut his hand but will be fine to wield his axe before kicking off their winter tour later this month. So no stand-in guitarists, no cancelled shows and ticket refunds and no worries!"

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