16 Shows pushed to 2011 -

Live Nation, promoter of the U2360° tour, today confirmed that 16 shows from Salt Lake City (June 3) to New Jersey’s Meadowlands Stadium (July 19), will be rescheduled for 2011.

The tour is the most expensive ever staged, and any postponement means its huge running costs - including the wage bill - still have to be covered.

“Although we understand the disappointment to U2 fans, first and foremost comes the recovery of Bono,” said U2 tour producer/promoter Arthur Fogel, CEO of Live Nation Global Touring, in a statement.

Details on rescheduled dates will be confirmed shortly, according to a statement.

The injury was sustained during tour preparation training.

According to the U2 Web site, Bono has now been discharged from Ludwig Maximilians-University (LMU) Hospital in Munich where he underwent emergency surgery. He is under doctor’s orders to start a rehabilitation program and to recuperate for at least eight weeks.

“Bono suffered severe compression of the sciatic nerve,” the site quotes Dr Muller Wohlfahrt. “On review of his MRI scan, I realized there was a serious tear in the ligament and a herniated disc, and that conservative treatment would not suffice. I recommended Bono have emergency spine surgery with Professor Tonn at Munich’s LMU University Hospital on Friday [May 21].”

Professor Tonn, who carried out the operation, added: “He was already in severe pain with partial paralysis in the lower leg. The ligament surrounding the disc had an 8mm tear and during surgery we discovered fragments of the disc had traveled into the spinal canal. This surgery was the only course of treatment for full recovery and to avoid further paralysis. Bono is now much better, with complete recovery of his motor deficit. The prognosis is excellent but to obtain a sustainable result, he must now enter a period of rehabilitation.”

Wohlfahrt said that “we are treating Bono as we would treat any of our athletes and while the surgery has gone very well, the coming weeks are crucial for a return to full health. In the next days, he will start a light rehabilitation program, with increasing intensity over the next 8 weeks. In our experience, this is the minimum time.”