Doctor says Diego Maradona doing well after surgery

Sports

A soccer fan stands behind a banner featuring former soccer star Diego Maradona and Marxist revolutionary Ernesto “Che” Guevara, outside the Clinica Olivos, where Maradona will undergo surgery, in Buenos Aires, Argentina, Tuesday, Nov. 3, 2020. His personal doctor Leopoldo Luque, who is a neurologist, said Maradona has suffered a subdural hematoma, likely caused by an accident. The 1986 World Cup champion was admitted to a private hospital in la Plata with signs of depression on Monday, three days after his 60th birthday. (AP Photo/Natacha Pisarenko)

BUENOS AIRES, Argentina (AP) — Diego Maradona was recovering Wednesday after an operation for bleeding in his skull, his personal doctor said.

Maradona had a subdural hematoma, which is an accumulation of blood between a membrane and his brain, said Dr. Leopoldo Luque, a neurologist who performed Tuesday’s operation.

“He has no type of complication associated with the operation,” said Luque, who described the postoperative developments as “excellent.”

Luque said the problem likely was caused by an accident, but Maradona said he doesn’t remember the event.

Luque was cautious about when Maradona might be able to leave intensive care at the private clinic in La Plata on the outskirts of Buenos Aires, saying that progress was “day to day.”

But he said Maradona “laughed and grabbed my hand” when he removed a drain.

Maradona, the star of Argentina’s 1986 World Cup champions, turned 60 last week. He was hospitalized on Monday for reported dehydration, anemia and depression. Friends said he had not wanted to eat.

Best wishes flowed in from all sides for the country’s most honored soccer player.

“Diego, all the force in the world. My family and I want to see you well as soon as possible,” the country’s most famous current player, Leonel Messi, said in a social media post accompanied by a photo of him alongside Maradona.

Maradona’s attorney, Matía Morla, said Argentine President Alberto Fernández, Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro and other politicians had contacted him to ask about Maradona’s health.

He discounted the idea that Maradona might return to Cuba, where he has been treated in the past for problems including cardiac issues and substance abuse, saying “Diego has his head in Gimnasia (y Esgrima),” the Argentine club he now coaches.

At a game on Friday, Maradona appeared to have trouble walking and left before the end of the first half, which raised questions about his health.

Before undergoing surgery, the former Barcelona, Napoli and Boca Juniors great reported feeling better.

Maradona has continued to cause controversy since his heyday as a player, getting sent home from the 1994 World Cup in the United States for doping and later dropping in and out of the game as a coach.

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