Black Sabbath guitarist Tony Iommi took to his official website to wish original Sabbath drummer Bill Ward a speedy recovery from the recent surgery Ward underwent after suffering from perforated diverticulitis. According to Blabbermouth, Iommi wrote, ""Dear Bill, sorry to hear you've been unwell. Hope you make a speedy recovery. Best wishes, Tony."

Iommi himself was diagnosed with cancer in January 2012, just two months after Sabbath announced a reunion album and tour, and has been undergoing regular treatment for the disease every six weeks since that time.

Perforated diverticulitis is a very serious gastrointestinal condition in which the walls of the intestine have become perforated. Ward's procedure was said to be successful, and he is expected to make a full recovery.

Ward was originally going to take part in the Sabbath reunion, but bowed out in early 2012 over a contract dispute. Although he never specified what his issues were, the other members of Sabbath later hinted that Ward was not physically up to the task of performing live.

It was rumored that Sabbath wanted to bring a second drummer on the road to share duties with Ward, which he allegedly balked at.

In a recent interview with the Phoenix New Times, Iommi addressed Ward's absence, saying, "Bill decided on his own he didn't want to do this, because he didn't like things the way it was. But we still don't know exactly what that was, because Bill won't exactly talk to us about it. He got his lawyers to talk with our lawyers, and it went that way instead of talking to the band personally."

Sabbath used Rage Against The Machine drummer Brad Wilk for the recording of its 13 album, while Tommy Clufetos has been the live drummer.