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Mountain Guitarist Leslie West Recuperating Following Emergency Surgery

Mario Tama, Getty Images

Guitar legend Leslie West, whose work with the band Mountain has been part of rock history since their unforgettable performance at Woodstock, is recovering after doctors were forced to amputate part of one leg over the weekend.

West, who was in Mississippi for a Mountain performance, was rushed to a Biloxi emergency room after noticing swelling in his leg — a condition made more serious by West’s 30-year struggle with diabetes. In order to save his life, doctors removed his leg up to the knee.

Though he’s expected to recover fully, West faces a period of extensive rehabilitation; according to his publicist’s press release, “The family has requested that the public and media respect his privacy while he comes to terms with this life changing transition.”

West’s medical issues arose as he was putting the finishing touches a new album, The Unusual Suspects, featuring performances from a list of guests that includes Billy Gibbons, Slash, Zakk Wylde, Joe Bonamassa and Steve Lukather. Plans for Suspects’ release are, understandably, on hold.

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