The former Metallica member is scheduled for immediate surgery to repair a torn anterior labrum in his left shoulder and a rotator cuff and bicep tear in the right. Newsted suffered the injuries while trying to catch a 90-lb bass head that had fallen from atop his amp. The surgery will be followed by a lengthy rehab assignment that could leave him sidelined for up to nine months.
“I’m freaking out, my heart was set on finally getting on the road with these guys but my main focus now is to build myself back to 100%,” says Newsted. “The stage is set for the band, I wish them the best of luck.”
The band—rounded out by vocalist Lukas Rossi, drummer Tommy Lee and guitarist Gilby Clarke—is currently searching for a suitable replacement to handle touring duties while Newsted recovers.
“When we started this project, I was handed a list of names—guys who could potentially anchor our rhythm section,” says Lee. “I responded by crumpling up the paper and asking, ‘Where’s Newsted?’ Jason was always the right guy for this band and we’ll miss having him with us as we kick off our album and tour, but we know he’ll be back as soon as he can pick up and play. As for who will handle bass duties until then, we’ve got a few monster guys in mind, any one of which can hit the ground running. Stay tuned.”