Lynyrd Skynyrd guitarist Gary Rossington is expected to make a full recovery following an emergency heart surgery, the rock band said on social media.
The 69-year-old musician, Lynyrd Skynyrd’s sole surviving original member, is currently at “home resting and recovering with his family” and wants fans to know that he “expects a full recovery,” the group wrote Friday (July 23) on Facebook.
Earlier in the week, Lynyrd Skynyrd singer Johnny Van Zant told the crowd at Minnesota’s Twin Cities Summer Jam that Rossington had to undergo an “emergency stent put in his heart.” He also noted that guitarist Damon Johnson would fill in for Rossington while he recovers from surgery.
“After this past year, the country being shut down and everything we have all been thru, The Rossington’s encouraged the band to go perform in his absence,” Lynyrd Skynyrd continued on Facebook. “Music is a powerful healer! We all felt playing the shows and bringing the music to y’all was a better option than cancelling the performances.”
The band currently has tour dates scheduled through late November.
“We wish Gary a speedy recovery and we will see the Skynyrd Nation very soon! Please do us a favor and say some prayers for the Rossington family and if you would like to leave him a (positive) message please do! He will look forward to reading them!” Lynyrd Skynyrd wrote.
This isn’t the first time Rossington — who formed Lynyrd Skynyrd with Ronnie Van Zant, Allen Collins, Larry Junstrom and Bob Burns in 1964 — has experienced heart problems. The guitarist suffered a heart attack in October 2015 and had to undergo emergency heart surgery the following year. The band was also forced to postpone shows in 2019 while he had a heart valve repaired.
See Lynyrd Skynyrd’s update on Rossington’s health here.