The 69-year-old Queen rocker made the decision to axe his Christmas Candlelight Tour with West End theatre star Kerry Ellis, which had been due to take place in December (16), announcing the news on his official website in October.

At the time, he shared, "I have been increasingly battling with a persistent illness which is destroying my energy and my will."

The guitarist went on to reveal the illness, which could lead to him "falling down on the job", had robbed him of his confidence to perform to his usual standard, and he had been "strongly advised to rest and heal".

On Tuesday (06Dec16), May took to his Twitter page to thank fans for their support and gave an update on his health battle.

"Just want to say thanks, dear twitter folks – for all your kind wishes," he tweeted. "I'm still taking it relatively slowly, but getting stronger."

May has yet to reveal details of the nature of his condition, but hinted in a blog post that it may be depression.

"I got myself in a very depleted state and have taken the decision now to clear my diary of everything until the end of the year," he wrote. "I'm leaving today on a big steel bird (plane) to spend some time recharging in a safe place. Need to turn off the phones and media for a while.

"Apologies to everyone involved in the things I will miss. I have to get away and prioritize healing - sometimes there is no choice. Bless ya all (sic)."

May has certainly been kept busy this year. He toured with his surviving Queen bandmates and former American Idol contestant Adam Lambert, who took on lead vocals in place of the late Freddie Mercury, finishing the shows in September after four months on the road.