IMAGE: Diego Maradona underwent surgery to treat a subdural hematoma, a blood clot on the brain. Photograph: Agustin Marcarian/Reuters
Argentine soccer great Diego Maradona is in recovery after a “successful” surgery to treat a subdural hematoma, a blood clot on the brain, a source close to the former World Cup winner said late on Tuesday.
The operation, after Maradona, 60, was admitted to hospital a day earlier, was to address the clot, often caused by a head injury, and which can put pressure on the brain.
“The operation proceeded normally and without complications and was successful,” the source told Reuters, adding that the diagnosis was a chronic subdural hematoma. The person did not give details on the potential recovery period.
The intervention, which was risky due to the ex-footballer’s delicate general health, lasted about two hours and was carried out by a team led by Leopoldo Luque, Maradona’s neurosurgeon and personal physician.
Luque said earlier that the procedure was a “routine surgery” and that Maradona had been “lucid” and understood and agreed with the procedure.
Maradona was admitted to the Ipensa clinic in La Plata, Argentina, on Monday for anemia and dehydration, before being transferred to Olivos Clinic in Buenos Aires province.
Around 50 fans gathered in front of the Olivos Clinic, in the suburbs of Buenos Aires, celebrated when reports of the successful outcome started to emerge, chanting: “Diego, Diego!”
Maradona, who won the World Cup with Argentina in 1986 and is widely considered to be one of the greatest players of all time, coaches local club Gimnasia y Esgrima. He last appeared in public on his 60th birthday last Friday before his side’s league match against Patronato.
Dozens of fans of Gimnasia y Esgrima have converged on the hospital since Monday evening, waving flags and holding posters with messages of support as they waited for news.
“What we want the most is for Diego to get out of all this. He can be, he is the greatest, the greatest in the world,” said Diego Bermudez, 41, a Maradona fan waiting outside the hospital.
Another fan, Oscar Medina, said: “Diego is fighting inside with medics. Hopefully God blesses the medics, to move on from this. His people are out here on the street, hearts beating.”