Citing Bono's back injury, U2 postpones its American tour

After hurting his back during concert rehearsals in Munich, Germany, Bono and U2 have been forced to postpone the 16 dates on the band’s summer American tour, the band announced Tuesday morning. The band also canceled its highly anticipated performance at the Glastonbury music festival.

The band’s manager, Paul McGuinness, explained Bono’s decision via U2.com. “Our biggest and I believe best tour has been interrupted and we’re all devastated,” he said. “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. His concerns about 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 Bono make a full recovery. We’re working as fast as we can with Live Nation to reschedule these dates.”

Bono underwent emergency surgery on Friday, said the singer’s doctor, Dr. Muller Wohlfahrt: “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.”

The statement continues:

“Professor Tonn, who carried out the operation, added, ‘Bono was referred to me by Dr. Muller Wohlfahrt late last week with a sudden onset disease. 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.'”

Live Nation, which is promoting the band’s “U2 360″ tour, has confirmed that the band will reschedule the dates for 2011.

Randall Roberts/Los Angeles Times