Megadeth Drummer Sidelined By Surgery

Megadeth drummer Nick Menza, who has been with the hard rockin' outfit since 1988, will have surgery on his leg next week to remove a benign tumor, and the procedure will keep Menza off the drum risers for a month.

According to a message posted by band leader Dave Mustaine on Megadeth's official web site (at www.megadeth.com), Menza told the band he a cancer in his knee and planned to have an MRI done. Menza did not inform the band the results of the test, but Mustaine wrote that the drummer would have surgery on June 29.

Menza had been sidelined for a week's worth of shows, starting with a canceled gig on June 11, and Megadeth has tapped Jimmy DeGrasso, formerly of Suicidal Tendencies, as a temporary touring replacement.

Initial reports about Menza'a absence claimed that he had a case of tendonitis that would likely keep him off the road for the rest of the band's current tour,

but despite the pending operation, Menza will re-join the band for shows tonight and tomorrow in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, and Fargo, North Dakota.

According to a spokesman for Megadeth, the band is hopeful that Menza will be able to return in time for the launch of this year's Ozzfest on July 3 in Holmdel, New Jersey.