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Iron Maiden drummer Nicko McBrain has today revealed he suffered a mini stroke that paralysed on his right side. The drummer who has been with the band since 1982 feared that his career was over, but after 10 weeks of intense therapy, he was near 70% recovered.

Clearly anybody who has seen the band on their current Future Past Tour would be excused for thinking it was business as usual for the 71 year old. Nicko says "I feel it's important to let you know about this now instead of earlier as I was mainly concerned with doing my job and concentrating on getting back to 100% fitness," he wrote. "I'm not there yet but by the grace of God I'm getting better and stronger as the weeks go by."

Iron Maiden manager Rod Smallwood also shared a statement, saying:

"The rest of the band and l think that what Nicko has been able to achieve since his stroke shows incredible belief and willpower and we are all very proud of him."

He said the band had a "new and musically very complex set to learn" ahead of the tour, but McBrain "just got his head down" and concentrated on becoming fit again.

"We honestly did not know if he would be able to play a whole show until band rehearsals started in May and there was just so much support for him from the band and then genuine relief for all when we saw he was going to be able to do it!

"Nicko being Nicko he did not want to make a fuss and cause any distraction to the tour at the time but, now that he is sure he will soon get there, he thought you fans should know straight from him rather than by any rumours!"

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