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Exclusive: Eddie Van Halen Recovering After Hand Surgery

July 23, 2009 3:02 PM ET

Eddie Van Halen is said to be on the mend after undergoing surgery to treat increasing pain in his left hand.

"During the last leg of our tour, I started developing pain in my thumb and my pinky. I didn't think much of it at the time," the guitarist says. "It got progressively worse to the point that about three months ago I wasn't able to play at all. My pinky and my thumb were totally locked up and felt like there was something broken."

Van Halen sought out specialists in Düsseldorf, Germany, who initially began treating the guitarist for arthritis, but soon discovered a bone spur, twisted tendon and a cyst in the joint of his left thumb.

"They said the only way to fix it was surgery, which of course scared the shit out of me, but I was told it was the only way to fix it," Van Halen says. "Surgery was a success, now I just have to let it heal. I am totally jazzed that they found the problem, fixed it and in about four months my hand will feel like I am 18 again. Thank God."

(Check out photos of Eddie's history with Van Halen)

Van Halen is said to be recovering nicely, having already regained his reach and full spread of his hand. He's said to be taking his recovery slowly, however, to insure he heals properly. His rehabilitation should be complete in 4-6 months.

"In the meantime I am able to write a bit, but can not overexert my hand because it needs to heal properly," the guitarist says.

His stitches come out in a few days, and he's confident he'll be able to play at maximum intensity when he completes his recovery.

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