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U2 postpones Soldier Field, 15 other dates

Is he singing or crying out in pain?As feared when Bono’s emergency back surgery last week forced U2 to postpone its June 3 Salt Lake City show — the first date of this leg of the band’s U2 360 world tour — now the rest of the tour is coming down, allowing Bono to recuperate.

That includes nixing the July 6 concert at Soldier Field.

Stay tuned for details here about what to do with that ticket you’re holding. Just hold onto it for now.

What we know now is that all the North American dates being canceled — 16 shows from Salt Lake City through to New Jersey’s Meadowlands Stadium on July 19 — will be rescheduled in 2011.

Bono underwent emergency surgery Friday in a hospital in Munich, Germany, and had to recover there for a few days. He was injured during a rehearsal.

He was released today with doctors’ orders “to start a rehabilitation program and to recuperate for at least eight weeks,” according to a statement from the concert promoter, Live Nation.

The diagnosis from Dr. Muller Wohlfahrt: “Bono suffered severe compression of the sciatic nerve. On review of his MRI scan, I realized there was a serious tear in the ligament and a herniated disc, and that conservative treatment would not suffice. I recommended Bono have emergency spine surgery with Professor Tonn at Munich’s LMU University Hospital on Friday.”

The doctor who operated on Bono, Professor Tonn, said the singer was partially paralyzed in one leg when he arrived on his operating table. He adds: “The prognosis is excellent, but to obtain a sustainable result, he must now enter a period of rehabilitation.”

To quote another stadium-sized rock band: What a drag it is getting old.

U2 brought the tour to Soldier Field last September in its first go-round. Here’s DeRogatis’ review of the experience.