‘A positive outcome has prevailed’: Black Sabbath’s Bill Ward is recovering from shoulder surgery

Maybe physical issues were part of Black Sabbath’s failure to reunite without Bill Ward. The band’s original drummer has undergone right-shoulder repair surgery, a procedure that was complicated by a perforated diverticulitis issue.

Ward says he had the shoulder surgery in early January, since he had some down time, and has started rehab — which should last another month or so. “I’m very pleased to say that a positive outcome has prevailed,” Ward says. “I’m healing slowly and surely. … I’m hoping to be playing drums by mid-March 2014. I want to start back in with jam sessions with a jazz quartet, something softer before I start slamming again.”

While Ward ultimately didn’t take part in the smash Black Sabbath reunion project 13, he did receive a lifetime achievement award at the NAMM Bonzo Bash in January. In other good news, Ward says he hopes to restart his regular radio program on Saturday, February 15, 2014. The show, which will focus on Ward’s favorite fellow drummers this year, has been on hiatus since August of last year. His first featured artist, he says, will be Dave Lombardo, a co-founding member of Slayer who has also worked with Fantomas and Testament.

Ward claimed that his falling out with Black Sabbath was over a contract dispute. Frontman Ozzy Osbourne countered that Ward wasn’t in shape to take on the rigors of their planned schedule.

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