Judas Priest guitarist Richie Faulkner is feeling strong enough to play guitar every day now, nearly two months after he underwent emergency heart surgery following an aortic rupture that occurred onstage during Priest's performance at September's Louder Than Life Festival.

He said so in an update to Judas Priest fans on Tuesday (Nov. 16) that summarized his recovery progress and gave thanks for listener support ahead of the Thanksgiving holiday.  Faulkner was discharged from the hospital in early October after experiencing the aortic aneurysm and dissection that occurred while he played the guitar solo to Judas Priest's "Painkiller." The rocker later thanked the heart doctor who saved his life.

This week, Faulkner wrote that he "just wanted to post, and I've had many of you asking for an update on how my recovery is going. I was able to return home from hospital 10 days after my surgery to continue recovery at home. It has now been 7 weeks since the night it all happened and I'm feeling very strong and positive. My incisions have healed very well and I can definitely see the light at the end of the tunnel."

He continued, "I'm walking well and moving freely, I'm pretty active and I'm starting cardiac therapy very soon. I'm playing guitar everyday and with the love and support of my family, the continued support from you guys and the inspiration that i get from the guitar, I'll be back on stage in no time! My surgeons are very pleased with my progress and have all reserved front row tickets for the next Priest show haha."

Faulkner's positive outlook is undergirded by his gratefulness. He added, "It's Thanksgiving this month, and whether you celebrate it or not, I have a lot to give thanks for this year; Including all of you for your patience, your love and your support. Lots of love and I'll see you down the front soon, horns held high."

Judas Priest postponed their immediate tour dates to allow for Faulkner's recovery. But the celebration of their 50th anniversary as a band continues. The heavy metal legends recently launched the interactive "Guide to Heavy Metal" website. An anniversary box set emerged last month.

The Most Underrated Song on Every Judas Priest Album

Deep cuts, hidden gems... whatever you want to call them!

More From KZCD-FM