Slayer guitarist Jeff Hanneman is free of the flesh-eating disease that struck him early last year, but his rehabilitation continues.

Speaking to, Slayer bassist-vocalist Tom Araya said, “Jeff’s had a long ordeal. He’s working on his playing ability, and that's something that’s going to take some time. He’s working on strengthening his arm and his ability to play. He can play, but it’s not for an extended period of time. Like anything else when you have some kind of not only muscle damage but nerve damage, it takes a bit for a lot of your functions to come back. They’re not going to come back easy and quick.”

Araya praised Exodus guitarist Gary Holt for the “fantastic job” he’s done filling in for Hanneman, but still he longs for Hanneman’s return. “I just kind of look [on-stage] and think, ‘Jeff, God, where are you? You worked 30 years for this. You should be here,’” Araya said. “He should be enjoying this part of his career. I can't wait for him to [be back].”