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Last Updated: Wednesday, 12 July 2006, 08:48 GMT 09:48 UK
Rocker Richards returns to stage
Keith Richards
Richards appeared on stage in his trademark headband
Rolling Stones guitarist Keith Richards has made his first appearance on stage since his head injury in April.

The 62-year-old was first on stage at the San Siro football stadium in Milan as the veteran band began the European leg of their A Bigger Bang tour.

Lead singer Sir Mick Jagger jokingly referred to his bandmate's "head problems" during the two-hour show.

The Stones were forced to postpone 15 concerts following Richards' fall from a tree in Fiji.

At a press conference before the show, Richards played down his accident, which required him to undergo head surgery in New Zealand.

"If you saw the tree, you'd realise the joke," he said, denying reports he had fallen out of a coconut tree.

Materazzi and Richards have something in common - they both recently had head-related problems
Sir Mick Jagger
"I know other peoples' eyes are going to be on me a little more than usual," he added.

Speaking in Italian during the concert, Jagger made a light-hearted connection between Richards' mishap and French footballer Zinedine Zidane's head butt on Italy's Marco Materazzi during the World Cup final on Sunday.

"Materazzi and Richards have something in common - they both recently had head-related problems," he said.

The Italian defender and his team-mate Alessendro Del Piero were in the audience and were invited on stage at the end of the set.

The Stones will next play Austria, Germany, France, Holland, Switzerland, Portugal and Spain.

In August they play four dates in the UK before ending their tour in September in Norway and Denmark.

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11 Jul 06 |  Entertainment
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Stones guitarist has head surgery
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