Football: Diego Maradona recovering in Argentinian hospital after surgery for stomach bleeding

Diego 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.
Diego 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.PHOTO: REUTERS

BUENOS AIRES (REUTERS) - Argentina's World Cup-winning captain Diego Maradona was recovering in hospital on Saturday (Jan 12) 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.

The 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 fainted in an executive box at the Argentina-Nigeria group-stage game.

Maradona was taken to 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.

He would return to lead the club for a second season as soon as his recuperation was complete, the lawyer said. "Now we wait for the recovery so Diego can return to work as soon as possible," he added.