Diego Maradona, Argentine football legend, underwent successful surgery Tuesday evening for a bruise on the head, five days after celebrating his 60th birthday. “The hematoma was successfully evacuated. Diego tolerated the surgery well. He is awake and all is well”, announced in a press conference his doctor Dr Leopoldo Luque, surgeon at the private clinic in the city of Olivos, north of Buenos Aires, where the operation lasted two hours. “He will remain under observation”, his doctor said.
The star had been transferred there after a first hospitalization on Monday in La Plata, 60 km south of the capital. Groups of supporters had gathered at the gates of the clinic in the town of Olivos, displaying large banners bearing the effigy of their Argentine idol. They greeted the good news with songs and euphoria. One of them, Oscar Medina, had come with his wife “support the greatest player of all time”. “Once again, health played a trick on him but he has antibodies to recover with the support of the people”, he told AFP, adding a “We love you Diego Armando!” The keyword #FuerzaDiego (Courage Diego) had spread on social networks, to the address of the 1986 world champion (in Mexico).
Diego Maradona had been transported to this clinic after a CT scan revealed the presence of the hematoma. Repeating that the removal of a subdural hematoma, located in the head, is a “routine operation”, the Dr Luque recalled that the former Argentine president Cristina Kirchner (2008-2015) had undergone the same procedure during his tenure. “He is an elderly patient with a lot of pressures in his life. This is a time when we have to help him. It is very difficult to be Maradona”, he added, before the operation. Dr Luque had indicated that the ex-player was suffering “anemia” and was “a little dehydrated”.
Asked if the hematoma could be the result of a stroke, the doctor said that “patients generally do not remember” of what could have been the cause. “These are imperceptible bruises”, he had stressed. From the hospitalization of the former N.10, he had ruled out any link with the coronavirus epidemic which has hit Argentina hard.
Confined since March because of the pandemic and his fragile health, Diego Maradona, coach of the club of Gimnasia y Esgrima La Plata, had insisted on Friday to lead the training of his players, the day of his 60th birthday. But he didn’t seem in good shape and was walking with difficulty. He only stayed a few minutes on the pitch before retiring with the help of his assistants.