Anthrax are hitting the stage with Slayer on a European tour to finish out their year, but Anthrax drummer Charlie Benante won't be there for at least for a few weeks. The band revealed that Jon Dette, who has filled in for Benante on several occasions, will man the kit for the early part of their trek.

Of course this has raised a few questions, and Benante has penned an open letter explaining why he's not traveling with the group and joining them midway through the run. The crux of the situation is that Benante is still having issues with his recovery from Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, even though he had surgery a few years ago. His comments on the matter can be read below:

I want to let all of our fans know what the situation is with my being or not being on the road with the band. Most of you know I had to have hand surgery a couple of years ago for the Carpal Tunnel Syndrome that I developed. Since then, I've continued to have regular physical therapy and doctor's office visits, and while my hand has gotten a lot better, it just hasn't fully healed. My doctor says it could continue to get better, but that's going to take as much time as it takes. When we were recording our new album, I realized that after three or four weeks straight in the studio, playing every day, not only would my hand start hurting like hell, but I would lose all feeling in it for a couple of days. And the same with being on the road -- I seem to be OK for a couple of weeks, but after that, the carpal tunnel flares up, the pain sets in, my hand goes numb, and I simply cannot play the drums, especially with the intensity that Anthrax's music requires.
I love being on the road, playing our music live for you guys, and I'm very excited about playing our new songs for you in 2016, but, at least at this point, for those four, five, six or seven week tours, I just won't be able to be on all dates. Anthrax has just started a European tour with Slayer, and Jon Dette is sitting in for me for the first three weeks or so; I'm planning to join the band on November 21 in the UK and will be on the remainder of the tour.
If there is a silver lining to this, it's that the time that I'm not on the road with the band, I am able to stay actively involved in the band's artwork (very excited for you all to see the cover art for our new album!), be available to promote our upcoming album, and help put together special Anthrax editions like our upcoming "Spreading The Disease" reissue.
So, that's the situation. I wanted to make sure that all of you knew exactly what was going on and that I thank you all for the understanding and support. I sincerely look forward to seeing you on the road!

So there you have it. Benante will eventually rejoin the band, but wants to make sure he's at his best behind the kit. And as he mentioned, there's two other things that are occupying his time while away. The band is planning a special edition reissue of their Spreading the Disease album and the group is also finalizing details on their next studio album, which is expected early next year.

See Where Charlie Benante Ranks Among the Top 50 Hard Rock + Metal Drummers

You Think You Know Anthrax?