Steven Tyler's vocal cord injury was even worse than first thought -- he can barely speak -- but we're told recovery is certain and he will come back as strong as ever.
Sources close to Tyler tell TMZ ... after blowing out his vocal cords last weekend at his Long Island concert, to the point they bled, Steven flew to Boston to see his ENT doctor, and the X-rays showed the vocal cords were "mangled."
We're told the injury occurred early on during Aerosmith's concert, but he powered through his entire set, including "Dream On," where Steven hit his famous, glass-shattering note in the song's climax. The audience had no idea he was severely impaired.
Our sources say Steven can't even speak now ... he "squeaks" when he tries to talk.
Steven can't sing for 30 days because of the damage, putting the band's tour on pause.
Nevertheless, we're told Steven's not going to let his injury stop him from doing future shows ... and he's still planning on hitting those risky high notes and he will go 100% once his voice returns. As one source put it ... "Steven's an animal. There's no stopping him."
In the meantime, Aerosmith postponed shows in Detroit, Chicago, Cleveland, Raleigh, Washington, D.C. and Toronto ... pushing them back to January and February 2024.