Metallica’s Lars Ulrich shares James Hetfield updates: “He’s in the process of healing himself”

ABC/Randy HolmesMetallica drummer Lars Ulrich has offered an update on frontman James Hetfield, who last month re-entered treatment for his ongoing struggle with substance abuse.

"He's doing what he needs to," Ulrich tells USA Today. "He's in the process of healing himself."

Ulrich adds that he's been pleasantly surprised by "how positive the feedback has been from our fans and friends and peers alike" regarding the announcement of Hetfield's rehab.

"It's very heartwarming," Ulrich says. "It's just blown our minds how much love and appreciation and support we've gotten...It's an incredible thing."

As a result of Hetfield's return to rehab, Metallica had to postpone their upcoming tour of Australia and New Zealand. Ulrich says he "feel[s] bad" for the Metallica fans Down Under, but promises that the metal legends will return with "full force and come back stronger and healthier than ever."

"Along the way, there's obviously an occasional bump in the road," Ulrich says. "But it's been an incredible ride, and we're looking forward to getting back down there, hopefully next year."

Meanwhile, Metallica just last week announced that they'll play two headlining sets at five different U.S. festivals in 2020: Epicenter, Welcome to Rockville, Sonic Temple, Louder than Life, and Aftershock.

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