Slayer guitarist Jeff Hanneman contracts flesh-eating disease

Guitarist contracts necrotizing fasciitis, forcing band to tour without him

Slayer are set to tour without guitarist Jeff Hanneman – as he is recovering from a flesh-eating disease.

Hanneman has contracted necrotizing fasciitis. It is a rare disease which destroys skin, fat and tissue from below the surface of the body. He is believed to have caught the disease from a spider bite and will undergo surgery on his right arm shortly.

The thrash metallers, who have touring commitments throughout the summer, have announced that they will recruit a guest guitarist to stand in for him for their summer tour dates.

Guitarist Kerry King said in a statement: “After everything that’s happened we all agreed that we just can’t let our fans down again.”

He added: “Jeff [Hanneman] is totally on board with the decision, so we will tour as planned. We can’t pinpoint what day he’ll be back, but it will be as soon as he possibly can. We can’t wait for him to get better and get his ass back on the road.”

The band will announce his temporary replacement in the next few days. They are due to play the Sonisphere at Knebworth Park in July.

Slayer were forced to cancel tour dates in 2010 due to frontman Tom Araya having surgery on his neck and back.