Lynyrd Skynyrd guitarist recovering following emergency heart surgery

Lynyrd Skynyrd guitarist Gary Rossington performs during the Stagecoach Festival near Palm Springs, California, on April 27, 2019.
CNN  — 

Lynyrd Skynyrd guitarist Gary Rossington is recovering after undergoing emergency heart surgery, the band said on its Facebook page.

Rossington, the band’s only original member still playing in the current iteration, is “home resting and recovering with his family,” according to the post on Friday.

“He wants everyone to know he is doing good and expects a full recovery,” it said, adding Rossington “encouraged the band to go perform in his absence.”

“We wish Gary a speedy recovery and we will see the Skynyrd Nation very soon!”

Rossington has had heart problems in the past. In a 2018 article examining the band’s history, the Tampa Bay Times reported the guitarist had previously survived quintuple bypass surgery.

“I’ve had heart attacks on stage a lot,” he told the paper.

Lynyrd Skynyrd is currently on tour, 15 months after the band’s farewell tour was interrupted by the Covid-19 pandemic, according to a release on the band’s website.

“COVID turned our world upside down. And since that time, we have been talking amongst the band, and realized that music has such a way of healing,” Rossington said in a statement in June.

“Maybe it’s not our time to go,” he said. “And maybe it’s our time to lift people’s spirits and lives and bring back some joy and happiness after so much turmoil this past year.”