Whitesnake announced on Friday that drummer Brian Tichy has decided to leave the group.  A post on Whitesnake's official website reveals that Tichy is exiting the band "to pursue the S.U.N. project he started with gifted singer/guitarist Sass Jordan."  S.U.N. also features Whitesnake bassist/singer Michael Devin, who intends to remain a member of the veteran pop-metal act.

With regard to Tichy's departure, Whitesnake frontman David Coverdale issued a statement that reads, "We are truly sad to see him go, but, we fully support the pursuit of his ambitions & sincerely wish him well.  His fearless drumming brought a relentless driving edge & to our music that we fully embraced.  Good Luck, Brian...May the SUN shine brightly on you!!"

Whitesnake further reports that a search already has begun for a new drummer and the band doesn't expect its upcoming tour dates will be affected by the loss of Tichy.

Meanwhile, Tichy has taken to Twitter to update fans about his condition following his recent mountain-biking accident that left him with a broken collarbone.  He revealed that he had an operation on New Year's Day to have a metal plate and screws implanted in his right collarbone.

Tichy quipped in a tweet earlier that day, "I am now going to be more METAL than ever before."  Then, on Wednesday, he posted, "Surgeons are the rock stars of the hospital!! Surgery rules! Anesthesiologists are the lead guitarists of the hospital!" adding that he was "feeling better."