A musician who was due to play Knebworth’s Sonisphere Festival has cancelled all touring commitments after undergoing surgery for pancreatic cancer.

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Sonisphere Tweet about Wilko JohnsonSonisphere Tweet about Wilko Johnson

Legendary Dr Feelgood guitarist Wilko Johnson, currently riding high in the UK album chart with the Roger Daltrey collaboration Going Back Home, had been confirmed to play Sonisphere 2014.

The touring rock and metal festival returns to the grounds of Knebworth House from Friday, July 4 to Sunday, July 6.

Electric axeman Wilko, who also appeared in Game of Thrones, was scheduled to perform on the Saturday, having previously played Knebworth in the late 70s.

But Wilko’s official Twitter handle, @wilkojohnson, tweeted on Wednesday: “On doctor’s advice Wilko Johnson is having an operation today for his cancer & has cancelled all engagements. More details as we get them.”

Sonisphere 2014 line-up for KnebworthSonisphere 2014 line-up for Knebworth

An official statement on Wilko’s Facebook page said he had “reluctantly had to cancel all of his public engagements” for the foreseeable future.

An update via Twitter on Friday added: “Wilko latest: After successfully removing a pancreatic tumour, the medical team are “cautiously optimistic”.”

The guitarist’s manager, Lisa Climie, further explained the situation on his Facebook page.

Her statement read: “Wilko is recovering following a nine hour operation on Wednesday in which doctors successfully removed a pancreatic tumour.

“The head of the medical team treating Wilko said that they were happy with his condition.

“Wilko will stay under very close observation for the next few days. Although cautiously optimistic the team have to stress that it is very early days yet.

“The family thank everyone for their good wishes and ask for some privacy at this time so they can support Wilko with his recovery in peace.”

Sonisphere’s official Twitter account, @Sonisphere, tweeted: “Thoughts are with you Wilko Johnson, good vibes from Team Soni.”

Sonisphere’s 2014 line-up will be headlined by The Prodigy, Iron Maiden and Metallica.

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