Diego Maradona could be discharged from a hospital in Buenos Aires on Thursday, although his personal doctor recommends that the Argentina football legend remain at least until Friday to recover after he underwent surgery to remove a subdural hematoma.
“Everything is always open with Diego. If he wants to go, well we tried to stop him and convince him, due to [medical] controls, but he may leave. Let’s hope that he stays until tonight,” said Dr. Leopoldo Luque during Thursday’s medical update. “We shouldn’t transfer him to another place. It’s a good post-surgery [observation] and we see a good advance. Obviously, when he leaves, there will be checkups in his house, as in any other post-surgery [observation] with every other patient.
“With Diego you never know what he will do, but I am recommending that he stay until tomorrow earliest. He can walk, he has spoken to me. We have seen an excellent recovery, although like everyone else, he will have to be monitored from home in the future.”
Maradona had surgery on Tuesday at Olivos Hospital to remove an accumulation of blood between a membrane of his brain that had been detected on an MRI on Monday.
Luque, a neurosurgeon who performed the surgery, said a post-op study looked good.
Luque, a neurologist who performed Tuesday’s operation, said the problem likely was caused by an accident, but Maradona said he doesn’t remember any event.
Maradona was admitted to the Ipensa Clinic in La Plata with signs of anemia, dehydration and depression on Monday. Friends said he had not wanted to eat. On Tuesday morning, an MRI revealed a subdural hematoma and he was moved to Buenos Aires.
On Thursday, UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin sent a message of encouragement to Maradona, who in 1986, led Argentina to the World Cup title and is widely considered to be one of the greatest players of all time.
“This is another match you have to win, another match you are going to win, because legends are eternal,” Ceferin wrote. “From my heart, I hope this is only a minor setback. We are cheering for you!”
Maradona turned 60 last Friday and showed up that night for Gimnasia y Esgrima La Plata’s national league match against Patronato, which his team won 3-0.
He left before the end of the first half, which raised questions about his health.
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Maradona manages the first-division side but had sat out of the team’s training as a precaution to avoid the risk of becoming infected with COVID-19 as he is considered in the risk group.
Argentina and Barcelona forward Lionel Messi sent a message of encouragement to Maradona on Wednesday via Instagram: “Diego, All the strength in the world. My family and I want to see you well as soon as possible. A hug from the heart!”
Since ending his playing career in 1997, the ex-Napoli, Barcelona and Boca Juniors star has battled a series of health issues. He was admitted to the hospital in January 2019 with internal bleeding in the stomach. He also fell ill at the 2018 World Cup in Russia, where he was filmed passing out in an executive box at the Argentina-Nigeria game.
In 2004, he was hospitalised with severe heart and respiratory problems related to a long battle with drug addiction. He has undergone two gastric bypass operations to control his weight and also has received treatment for alcohol abuse.
Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.