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Don Dokken Expects to ‘Fully Recover’ Use of His Hands

Jason Kempin, Getty Images
Jason Kempin, Getty Images

Don Dokken has released a health update after reports circulated that he was unable to use his hands, saying now that his doctors expected him to “fully recover.”

In an interview that took place in January, but was widely reported in the past few days, the Dokken leader had told the Classic Metal Show that he’d suffered complications from spine surgery. “[M]y hands are dead,” he’d said. “They don’t move. It’s very strange. It’s an interesting way to live your life.” He’d added that he could use one hand “a little bit, but not very much,” and that he was undergoing physical therapy four days a week, but that he didn’t “know what’s gonna happen” and that he thought his “guitar-playing days are obviously over.”

A spokesperson for Dokken responded to the coverage via social media, saying: “Don had neck and spinal surgery in early November 2019. There were some complications; Don’s right arm and hand were partially paralyzed as well as overall weakness in his body.” The statement continued: “Since that interview in January, Don is doing much better and his doctors do expect him to fully recover but it will take time. He does continue to have difficulty holding items and at this time is unable to play guitar, this does not affect his voice. That being said, there are no changes at this time to the upcoming show schedule.

“Don has been actively writing new music, is in great spirits, looks forward to the upcoming Dokken shows and greatly appreciates the outpouring of support. You can expect more great Dokken music and shows this year, just don’t expect somersaults!”

The frontman recently began revealing a list of appearances for 2020 which will include a “special encore performance” with former guitarist George Lynch at each show, following an opening set from Lynch’s band Lynch Mob.


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