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(Yahoo!) - Guitarist Richie Sambora has been AWOL from Bon Jovi since April 3, when he left the band's tour surrounded by mystery. A lone tweet attempted to explain his absence.

Since then, Richie has checked in with two other tweets.

But other than that, there's been little talk about the reasons for Richie's departure and if - and when - he'll return to the fold.

The band's leader and namesake Jon Bon Jovi addressed the situation Monday during an appearance on Ellen. The good news for longtime fans is that Jon says Richie is still in the band. The bad - there's been no talk about when Sambora might rejoin his band mates.

During the interview, Ellen asked JBJ how the band has managed to stay together for three decades. "We like each other," Jon replied. "I think that was really the key. We all have a lot of give and take. You had to love each other, you had to go through some ups and downs, but in the big picture, you had to really like each other so you go to work."

Of course, that left the door wide open for Ellen to ask about Richie's absence, which Jon addressed, but didn't give any specifics about his partner's hiatus. "Well, all I can say honest to God is that it's a personal matter, but we love him very much. He's absolutely still a member of the band."

Just to clarify, Ellen asked, "He's still your guitar player?" Jon replied, "Absolutely."

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