Dickey Betts in critical condition, facing brain surgery after 'freak accident' near Sarasota; upcoming concerts canceled

Posted September 22, 2018 12:07 p.m. EDT

Months after returning to the stage after years of retirement, legendary Allman Brothers Band guitarist Dickey Betts is "critical but stable" after a "freak accident" at his home in Sarasota County, according to his website.

The site says Betts was out playing with his dog at his Osprey home on Monday when he slipped and cracked his head, causing bleeding in his brain. He was sedated at a nearby hospital, but was set to undergo brain surgery to relieve swelling today.

The news, first reported by the Sarasota Herald-Tribune, means that Betts will in all likelihood be canceling his upcoming shows in November, including a Nov. 5 date at Ruth Eckerd Hall.

"It was just a few days ago that Dickey was telling me how excited he was to get back in front of the fans on November 1," his longtime friend and manager David Spero said on the website. "It is very unfortunate, for all involved, that we need to cancel those shows. Please add Dickey into your thoughts and prayers."

The Ruth Eckerd Hall concert was also set to feature ZZ Top's Billy Gibbons. The venue had no update on the status of the show.

After returning to the stage in May, Betts' revival tour had seemingly picked up steam over the summer -- at least until a mild stroke forced him to postpone several gigs this summer. The gig in Clearwater was to be one of his first back, and according to his band's Facebook page, Betts was "raring to go. His recovery from his minor stroke is ahead of schedule and he has already started playing his guitar again."