Many were shocked earlier this year when it was revealed that Judas Priest guitarist Glenn Tipton was stepping away from touring with the band because of his battle with Parkinson's disease. The guitarist's condition was not widely known, despite the revelation that he had been battling it for over a decade. In a new statement, Tipton elaborates on his Parkinson's diagnosis and also provides fans with a clearer idea of what the future holds for him.

When the initial announcement was made, Tipton was reported to have been dealing with Parkinson's for the past decade, but in his new statement he reveals he was only diagnosed only four years ago, but was told that he had already had it for over ten years.

"I knew something was wrong with my co-ordination and fluency regarding my playing but I worked around it and battled on," stated Tipton. "I have good days and bad days but the disease is degenerative and I would never want to compromise the greatest metal band in the world -- it was therefore during the last rehearsals I decided to step down and have Andy Sneap fill in -- he's a great guy and I'm sure he'll do a great job. I'm sure the band will be as strong than ever."

The guitarist says he's been overwhelmed by the massive support and love he's received from other artists and fans, but adds that this this is not it for him in terms of music.

"I’ll still be able to write and record and on good days even join the band onstage for a few songs, with new medication and advances being made who knows what the future holds - but one thing's for sure -- it will certainly involve Priest," says Tipton, which is bound to be great news to everyone.

He concludes his statement by thanking his bandmates who "have stood by me and supported me through everything." See his full statement below.

Judas Priest just kicked off their "Firepower" tour and will continue the run tomorrow night (March 15) in Youngstown, Ohio. See all of their scheduled dates here.

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