Rolling Stones Drummer Charlie Watts 'Unlikely' to Play Band's Tour Due to Medical Procedure

"I am working hard to get fully fit but I have today accepted on the advice of the experts that this will take a while," Charlie Watts said

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Charlie Watts. Photo: Theo Wargo/WireImage

Rolling Stones drummer Charlie Watts will likely miss the America leg of the band's No Filter tour this fall while he recovers from an unspecified medical procedure.

A spokesperson for the musician said in a statement to PEOPLE that doctors have concluded Watts, 80, "now needs proper rest and recuperation" from a procedure he had that was "completely successful."

"With rehearsals starting in a couple of weeks it's very disappointing to say the least, but it's also fair to say no one saw this coming," the spokesperson added.

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Watts, who underwent treatment for throat cancer in 2004, will be replaced by understudy Steve Jordan.

"For once my timing has been a little off," Watts said in a statement. "I am working hard to get fully fit but I have today accepted on the advice of the experts that this will take a while."

"After all the fans' suffering caused by Covid I really do not want the many RS fans who have been holding tickets for this tour to be disappointed by another postponement or cancellation," he said. "I have therefore asked my great friend Steve Jordan to stand in for me."

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The No Filter tour, rescheduled from 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, kicks off in St. Louis on Sept. 26. Dates continue through the end of November with stops in Charlotte, Pittsburgh, Nashville, New Orleans, Los Angeles, Minneapolis, Tampa, Dallas, Las Vegas, Atlanta, Detroit and Austin.

Said Jordan: "It is an absolute honor and a privilege to be Charlie's understudy and I am looking forward to rehearsing with Mick, Keith and Ronnie. No one will be happier than me to give up my seat on the drum-riser as soon as Charlie tells me he is good to go."

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