In a new interview with the Washington Post, the country legend revealed he is recovering from a stem cell operation meant to improve his lung functions.
“Over the years, I’ve smoked a lot of cigarettes, and I’ve had emphysema and pneumonia four or five times, so my lungs were really screwed up,” Nelson said. “I had heard that this stem cell operation would be good for them. So I said, ‘Well, I’m gonna try it out,’ but I’m still so sore that I can’t say that it was a success. I’ll have to wait until all the soreness goes away.”
Nelson says he’s optimistic about his long-term recovery and the surgery’s affects on his upcoming live performances.
“I think I’ll be able to sing,” he says. “The only thing that worries me more than anything is carrying my guitar, because they did the operation right in my stomach. But I think I’ll be all right.”
The operation caused Nelson and Haggard to reschedule some dates, leaving the 82-year-old feeling rather restless. “I don’t do time off very well,” Nelson revealed. “But I’m really pissed that I’ve been laid up here the past couple of weeks with this operation, because I need to be working.”
Thankfully, Nelson is already back out on the road with a full roster of dates that stretch into the spring.