Phil Collins Can “Barely Hold” Drum Sticks Now Amid Health Problems

Phil Collins is opening up about his health issues and how they’ve affected his career as a musician in recent years. 

The drummer, 70, appeared in a new interview with BBC Breakfast this week, during which he spoke about no longer being able to play the drums.

“I’d love to but you know, I mean, I can barely hold a stick with this hand,” he said. “So there are certain physical things that get in the way.”

Collins was joined for the interview by his Genesis band members as the music group prepares to go on a reunion tour after postponing their shows last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Collins’ son Nic Collins has taken over drumming duties for his father, but that doesn’t mean the iconic musician isn’t frustrated he can no longer play the instrument with the band.

“I’m kind of physically challenged a bit which is very frustrating because I’d love to be playing up there with my son,” Collins told the BBC.

According to NME, Collins will still perform with Genesis, instead just singing on the stage alongside his son and Genesis members Mike Rutherford and Tony Banks.

Collins, who first joined Genesis in the ’70s, added that he’s unsure if he’ll continue performing after the band’s upcoming tour wraps.

“We’re all men of our age, and I think to some extent, I think it probably is putting it to bed,” he said. “I think yeah, I think just generally for me, I don’t know if I want to go out on the road anymore.”

Collins, who underwent back surgery in 2015, told Billboard in 2016 that he felt like he was walking “on sticks” due to the operation, in addition to suffering nerve damage and multiple foot fractures.

“I don’t know if I’ll ever be fit enough to play the drums again on tour,” Collins said. “My left arm has changed — it’s a neural thing. The back surgery I had was great — I mean, how good can surgery be?”

“But it was problem-free. But then when I was recovering on crutches, I fell and fractured my foot,” he continued. “When I recovered from foot surgery, I fell again and fractured another part of the same foot. My right foot now is completely numb.”

Collins then suffered a serious fall in his hotel room in 2017 that sent the musician to the hospital. After hitting his head on a chair, Collins required stitches for a “severe gash on his head close to his eye,” according to a Facebook post on the artist’s page, which also mentioned that Collins “suffers from ‘drop foot’ as a result of a back operation which makes it difficult to walk.”

In 2018, a year after Collins’ hotel room fall, a source told PEOPLE the drummer used a cane and “had to sit most of the evening” while attending an event in Miami.

The source added, “He may be a little slower [physically] but mentally very on it.”

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