BUENOS AIRES (Reuters) - Argentina’s World Cup winning captain Diego Maradona was recovering in hospital on Saturday after successfully undergoing a routine operation for stomach bleeding, his lawyer said.
The 58-year old former Boca Juniors and Napoli player discovered the problem in early January during a check up at a hospital in Olivos, on the outskirts of Buenos Aires.
Saturday’s operation, to stem bleeding caused by a hernia, was not complicated but aimed to resolve what one source told Reuters were “inconveniences” caused by the issue.
“Diego Maradona’s surgical procedure is over,” his lawyer Matias Morla said on Twitter. “Thank God everything went perfectly.”
Maradona has suffered frequent periods in hospital over the years, often due to the extravagant lifestyle that helped make him one of the most admired players of the 20th century.
He last fell ill at the 2018 World Cup in Russia, where he was fainted in an executive box at the Argentina-Nigeria game.
Maradona was taken into hospital in 2004 with severe heart and respiratory problems linked to cocaine use. He later underwent drug rehabilitation in Cuba and Argentina before a stomach-stapling operation in 2005 helped him lose weight.
In 2007 he checked himself into a clinic in Buenos Aires to help him overcome alcohol abuse problems.
In recent months he has walked with the aid of crutches due to problems with his knees.
Doctors discovered the bleeding shortly before Maradona was due to fly to Mexico, where he is coach of second division side Dorados de Sinaloa.
Morla said he would return to lead the club for a second season as soon as his recuperation was complete.
“Now we wait for the recovery so Diego can return to work as soon as possible,” Morla said.
Additional reporting by Andrew Downie; Reporting by Ramiro Scandolo; writing by Cassandra Garrison, editing by G Crosse/Greg Stutchbury