Argentinian legend Diego Maradona was displaying signs of improvement within a day of undergoing brain surgery at the Olivos Clinic in Buenos Aries.
The 60-year-old who dominated the 1986 World Cup in Mexico leading his country to eventual triumph, required an operation for possible bleeding on his brain.
Having already confirmed the surgery a success, Dr Leopoldo Luque, Maradona’s personal physician, provided an update yesterday, saying, Maradona “laughed” and “grabbed my hand” just a day after the procedure.
“We are controlling him. Today we removed the drain. We are in total harmony with the intensive care doctors and are here to accompany them and help them as much as possible.
“Diego is fine, he is with analgesia. We are trying to make him recover progressively. They are decisions of the therapy doctors, with whom we are in full agreement. We are working together, along the same lines, and Diego has been responding very well.
“He is in a post-operative period and the moods are difficult to assess. However, when we removed the drain today he laughed, looked at me, grabbed my hand, and the first impression is it is favourable, but it is difficult to evaluate.
“Diego’s evolution is day by day and in principle today he will be in intensive care as well.”
South American football expert Tim Vickery, told Sky Sports News:
“The situation now is we wait to see how his body copes with the 80-minute surgery to which he was subjected to remove this blood clot.
“If everything goes according to plan he may be at home within a week and there’s even talk he could be back at work with Gimnasia [the club Maradona now manages] in around a month, but that depends on how Maradona’s body copes with the surgery.
“It seems the lockdown has not been good for him, either physically or psychologically.
“The league in Argentina only returned last Friday and that was a handpicked day to coincide with Maradona’s 60th birthday.
“There were reports leading up to that milestone that during the lockdown he hadn’t been good either psychically or psychologically, with reports he may have been drinking too much.”
Amongst the well-wishes that arrived, Barcelona’s Lionel Messi wished his compatriot well on social media.
Argentina’s record goalscorer wrote in Spanish under a picture of the pair together: “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!”