Founding Lynyrd Skynyrd member Gary Rossington is recovering from open heart surgery. The guitarist underwent a successful bypass operation Tuesday at an Atlanta hospital after a routine screening found him to be suffering from coronary artery disease.
“He was taken immediately to surgery and had a successful quintuple bypass,” cardiologist Martha Smith said in a statement. “He is doing extremely well and a full recovery is expected within two to three months.”
Because of the surgery, Lynyrd Skynyrd has delayed the planned May 6 release of its forthcoming Sanctuary album, “Vicious Cycle,” to late June. The legendary Southern rock band will also reschedule all its tour dates on its itinerary through May 25.
“Gary is doing fine after his surgery, and we want him to take the time to properly recover so he can return to his first love, which is the band he started 30 years ago,” the other members of Lynyrd Skynyrd said in a statement. “For all the fans who’ve bought tickets to the upcoming shows and who’ve been waiting for the new album, hang in there — we’ll be back soon.”
The group’s last non-holiday studio set was 1999’s “Edge of Forever” (CMC International), which debuted at No. 96 on The Billboard 200. In 2000, MCA released “The Millennium Collection: The Best of Lynyrd Skynyrd.” The following year, the label released remastered and expanded versions of the band’s classic albums “Nuthin’ Fancy” (1975), “One More From the Road” (1976), “Street Survivors” (1977), and its 1973 debut, “Pronounced “Leh-Nerd Skin-Nerd.”