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Bono still can't play guitar with U2 following November bike accident

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U2
Dave M. Benett/Getty Images

Five months after a cycling accident in New York City, U2 frontman Bono says he remains unable to play guitar. The accident, in which Bono’s humerus bone ripped through his skin, required him to have surgery for a facial fracture in his left eye socket, three fractures of his left shoulder blade and one fracture the of the left humerus in his upper arm.

“I can’t play guitar,” Bono told The New York Times. “They don’t seem to mind,” he said of bandmates Adam Clayton, Larry Mullen Jr. and The Edge.

Bono cancelled public appearances, including a weeklong residency on The Tonight Show, following the accident in Central Park. He continued to write songs for the group’s next album, Songs of Experience, occasionally with a guitarist to play along when he couldn’t. Still, “It feels like I have somebody else’s hand. I can’t bend these,” he told the paper, pointing to his hand. “And this is like rigor mortis.”

While Bono says his shoulder and face are better, he reports that his forearm and elbow stay numb. “This is titanium,” he said about the area. It’ll be over a year before Bono knows if feeling will return.

But right now Bono and his bandmates have their rapidly approaching tour to worry about, where they’ll learn if Songs of Innocence resonated with their fans. “On May 14 we’re going to find out if the album worked and if the experiment worked,” Bono said. “If people know those words and feel those songs, then the experiment was right.”

U2’s Innocence + Experience tour kicks off next month in Vancouver.