Jon Bon Jovi still isn't going on the record about the circumstances that led to Richie Sambora's abrupt departure from Bon Jovi's most recent tour, but he insists the door is wide open for Sambora's return.

"He’s not fired, we didn’t have a fight, it certainly isn’t about money," Bon Jovi told the U.K.'s Daily Mirror tabloid in a recent interview. So when can fans expect to see Sambora back in the lineup? "We go back 30 years," Bon Jovi explained. "He can return when he is ready to die every night the way I walk on the stage. It’s different without Richie. No one’s mad, no one’s sad."

All those good vibes haven't necessarily led to a lot of communication between Sambora and his partner, however. Recalling the night Sambora left the tour, Bon Jovi explained, "We were all in Calgary, Richie was going to turn up on show day but we went the night before because it’s a long flight. At 3:30 P.M. on show day, the phone rang, and it was Paul the manager, and he said 'Guess what?,' and he didn’t even have to finish the sentence. I said, 'You’re kidding.' We went on that night. I haven’t seen Richie since."

The band had previously toured without Sambora during a stint in rehab for the guitarist, which Bon Jovi says worked in their favor this time around. "Fortunately because we had been through it before, we performed that night. We couldn’t let down the fans," he pointed out. And although he reaffirmed his love for Sambora, he admitted he's "spoken to him once in six weeks and 18 shows" since the incident.

More From Ultimate Classic Rock