U2 fans were sent into a tailspin yesterday after an excerpt from a rare interview with drummer Larry Mullen Jr. made its way online.

The snippet from the Washington Post profile of the band seemed to suggest that Mullen was shelving his drumsticks permanently, after suffering damage to his body after decades of providing the backbone of the band.

Mullen, of course, was the original founding member of U2 and it was his notice, pinned to the board at Mount Temple Comprehensive, that inspired the four members to form a band.

Now, journalist Geoff Edgers has clarified Mullen's comments and put them in context, confirming that although he has no plans to retire, he was also potentially taking some time away from performing to sort out his health issues.

Mullen said that he has issues specifically with his neck and his elbows, saying "I have lots of bits falling off, elbows, knees, necks, and so during Covid, when we weren't playing, I got a chance to have a look at some of these things. So there's some damage along the way."

"So I'd like to take some time, which I will do to get myself healed," he said. "And I really enjoy playing and I enjoy the process of playing and being in the company of creative people. I enjoy that. I don't care if that's big or small. It's a bit like the sprout looking for water."

With Bono's book tour going swimmingly and the autobiography itself receiving rave reviews across the board, it's not yet clear when U2 will release a new album or tour again - although according to Mullen, "there's talk of all kinds of things" and a new album called 'Songs of Ascent' is reportedly almost finished.

In the meantime, read his comments in full below...