Argentine football great Diego Maradona underwent successful brain surgery for a blood clot in a specialist private clinic in Buenos Aires on Tuesday, his doctor said.
“We managed to successfully remove the clot. Diego coped well with the surgery,” Leopoldo Luque said at the icon’s private clinic in the capital Buenos Aires.
“It’s under control, there’s a little drainage (of blood). He’ll remain under observation.”
World Cup winner Maradona had been taken to hospital in La Plata – where he is the coach of top flight side Gimnasia y Esgrima – on Monday for a series of tests after feeling unwell.
A scan revealed the blood clot, and on Tuesday he was transfered to the specialist clinic in a northern neighbourhood of the capital.
Maradona, who turned 60 on Friday, has suffered ill health before. He has survived two heart attacks, and also contracted hepatitis and undergone gastric bypass surgery.
Groups of fans congregated outside the clinic with banners showing Maradona’s face and the words “Come on, Diego!”
“I came with my wife to support the greatest player of all time,” fan Oscar Medina told AFP
Maradona is considered at high risk of coronavirus complications should he be infected.
Last week, he began self-isolation for the second time after a bodyguard displayed coronavirus symptoms, though he later tested negative.
He joined his players briefly at the club’s training ground on his birthday, but had obvious difficulty walking and had to be helped away by his assistants after staying only 30 minutes.
“It breaks my heart to see him like this,” Giannina tweeted the next day.
Maradona has difficulty retaining iron due to a gastric bypass surgery he underwent in 2005 to lose 50 kilograms (110 pounds), leaving him prone to anemia, Luque said.
Though he has recovered from a well-documented addiction to hard drugs, Maradona takes medication in the form of tranquilizers and anxiolytics.
“With a patient on medication, there are times when hospitalisation serves to adjust that medication. That’s good,” said Luque.
Gimnasia fans flocked to the La Plata clinic to leave messages of support for the ailing icon.
“What he needs most is the support of the people,” Luque said.
Alongside Brazil’s Pele, who turned 80 last month, Maradona is widely regarded as one of the greatest players of all time