LONDON (AFP) – The Rolling Stones were forced to postpone the first 15 shows of their European tour, including a date in Athens late next month, as guitarist Keith Richards recovers from a brain operation, the band’s spokesman said yesterday. The band will delay its European tour from a concert on Saturday in Barcelona through to the one in Zagreb, on July 5, their spokesman Bernard Doherty told AFP. «The Rolling Stones [are] forced to postpone shows as Keith Richards continues to make full recovery,» Doherty’s LD Communications firm said in a statement. Following a fall last month from a palm tree on the island of Fiji, Richards, 62, was hospitalized in New Zealand with a brain haemhorrage and had to undergo an operation to drain blood from his brain. Richards has left hospital and is in the USA, according to a statement released on his behalf on Monday. «He is feeling great, happy to be home and looking forward to getting back on the road with the Rolling Stones next month,» tour promoter Michael Cohl said. In addition to Barcelona and Zagreb, the delay will also affect concerts in Madrid, May 29; Brussels, June 1; Paris, June 3; Bergen, June 6; Horsens, June 8; Gothenburg, June 10; St Petersburg, June 13; Brno, June 16; Warsaw, June 18; Vienna, June 20; Milan, June 22; Athens, June 25; Paris, July 2. The tour will now start at the beginning of July at a venue to be announced, a statement from the Rolling Stones added.