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Merle Haggard is still recuperating in a Georgia hospital after a bout with pneumonia, his publicist tells CountryWeekly.com.
Merle was hospitalized after being stricken with the illness early last week, forcing him to cancel shows. He left the hospital over the weekend and was on his way back to his home in California. But the trip became too unsettling and he decided to return to the hospital.
"He just left too soon," his publicist, Tresa Redburn, reports. She also confirms that Merle has canceled his January concert dates but plans on performing shows that have been scheduled for late February.
In updating his condition, Redburn reports that after Merle returned to the hospital, doctors found that he had a variety of other ailments. The 74-year-old legend was also diagnosed with three stomach ulcers, eight polyps in his colon and diverticulitis of the esophagus.
"Thanks to all the wonderful people all over the world who prayed their special prayers. I'm a new man," Merle said in a statement.
Redburn told CountryWeekly.com that she was able to speak with Merle on Tuesday (Jan. 24) and that he sounded fine. He will be in the hospital a few more days.
Merle has been in relatively good health after having part of a lung removed a few years ago as he battled cancer. He was able to resume an active touring schedule and released his latest album, Working in Tennessee, in October of last year.