[Photo credit: TAKUMI NAKAJIMA, judaspriest.com]

Glenn Tipton shared a heartfelt statement on his struggle with Parkinson's disease and his role in Judas Priest from now on.

Judas Priest kicked off their spring tour March 13 in Philadelphia, with Tipton's spot being filled by Hell/Sabbat guitarist Andy Sneap, who also produced the band's most recent record, Firepower.

Read more: Judas Priest’s Rob Halford opens about Glenn Tipton stepping away from touring

“By now many of you will know I won't be doing the forthcoming Judas Priest tour because of health issues,” the guitarist writes. “I’m so sorry but four years ago I was diagnosed with Parkinson's and was told by my specialist that I had already had it for over ten years.”

“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,” he continues, saying he decided to step down during rehearsals and trust Sneap to fill in for him. “I'm sure the band will be as strong than ever.”

Tipton also discusses his future with Judas Priest with a hopeful tone, saying it's not the end for him. “I’ll still be able to write and record and on good days even join the band on stage for a few songs,” he points out. “With new medication and advances being made who knows what the future holds—but one thing's for sure—it will certainly involve Priest!”

Read the statement below in full below:

In February, Judas Priest announced Tipton wouldn't be joining the band on their upcoming tour, due to his ongoing struggle with Parkinson's disease.

Tipton also shared a statement, explaining he wouldn't be joining the band on tour. “I want everyone to know that it’s vital that the Judas Priest tour go ahead, and that I am not leaving the band—it’s simply that my role has changed,” the guitarist wrote.

Judas Priest are currently on tour in support of Firepower. Check out the dates below:

Dates:

03/15 – Youngstown, OH @ Covelli Centre
03/17 – Uniondale, NY @ Nassau Coliseum
03/18 – Washington, DC @ The Anthem
03/20 – Newark, NJ @ Prudential Center
03/22 – Uncasville, CT @ Mohegan Sun Arena
03/25 – Ottawa, ON @ The Arena at TD Place
03/27 – London, ON @ Budweiser Gardens
03/28 – Oshawa, ON @ Tribute Communities Centre
03/30 – Orillia, ON @ Casino Rama
03/31 – Detroit, MI @ Detroit Masonic Temple
04/03 – Milwaukee, WI @ Riverside Theater
04/05 – Green Bay, WI @ Resch Center
04/08 – Bloomington, IL @ Grossinger Motors Arena
04/10 – Casper, WY @ Casper Events Center
04/11 – Loveland, CO @ Budweiser Events Center
04/15 – Kent, WA @ ShoWare Center
04/17 – Portland, OR @ Veterans Memorial Coliseum
04/19 – San Francisco, CA @ The Warfield
04/22 – Los Angeles, CA @ Microsoft Theater
04/24 – Phoenix, AZ @ Comerica Theatre
04/26 – Tulsa, OK @ BOK Center
04/28 – Dallas, TX @ The Bomb Factory
04/29 – Sugarland, TX @ Smart Financial Centre
05/01 – San Antonio, TX @ Freeman Coliseum

Watch more: Rob Halford performs with BABYMETAL