Merle Haggard at the Opry

Bakersfield's Merle Haggard performs in October 2015 at the Grand Ole Opry. Haggard sang "I Think I Will Just Stay Here and Drink."

Country legend and Bakersfield favorite son Merle Haggard is receiving treatment at a California hospital for a recurrence of double pneumonia, his publicist said Tuesday.

“The bacteria is back in his lungs,” said spokeswoman Tresa Redburn.

The pneumonia has lingered for weeks, forcing the singer to cancel several shows last month. But Haggard, 78, returned to the stage earlier than anticipated, playing four of his scheduled February concerts.

“On two shows, he had help — with Toby Keith in Vegas, then a show on his own and then he and Kris Kristofferson did one in LA, which was great,” Redburn said. “Then he did another one alone in Santa Rosa.”

Earlier this year, Haggard spent several days at Eisenhower Medical Center in Rancho Mirage, plus additional time recovering in another facility. Redburn did not disclose the name or location of the hospital where the singer is currently being treated.

Redburn said Haggard expects to return to the road in April.

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