Slayer has postponed all dates of its early 2010 touring season, which was supposed to launch this week in North America before continuing on...

Slayer has postponed all dates of its early 2010 touring season, which was supposed to launch this week in North America before continuing on to the UK and Europe in early spring.

The national dates were part of Slayer’s co-headlining American Carnage Tour with Megadeth. Dates had been booked from January 18 at the WaMu Theater in Seattle, WA, through February 23 at Metro Centre in Halifax, NS.

Slayer’s postponements come as bassist Tom Araya undergoes further medical care for an on-going back injury. His back surgery is scheduled for the end of January.

“Tom gave various medical treatments more than a fair shot,” Slayer manager Rick Sales said in a statement on the band’s Web site, “but they just haven’t handled the problem, so he’s biting the bullet and is scheduled for back surgery at the end of this month.”

While all dates have been cleared from Slayer’s tour calendar through April, the band has asked its fans to hold on to their tickets. The bands are trying to reschedule all the performances into the same cities and venues. If that scheduling works out, the original tickets will be honored on the new show dates.

This is the second time Slayer has been forced to put off its performance plans due to Araya’s back injury. A brief tour of Canada in November 2009, also with Megadeth, was axed as the bassist faced a series of minimally invasive procedures to correct his back problems. It was only once those procedures failed that Araya resorted to his upcoming back surgery.