Maradona undergoes brain surgery
“We managed to successfully remove the clot. Diego coped well with the surgery,” Leopoldo Luque said at the icon’s private clinic in the capital Buenos Aires. “It’s under control, there’s a little drainage (of blood). He’ll remain under observation.” World Cup winner Maradona had been taken to hospital in La Plata—where he is the coach of top-flight side Gimnasia y Esgrima±on Monday for a series of tests after feeling unwell. A scan revealed the blood clot, and on Tuesday he was transferred to the specialist clinic in a northern neighborhood of the capital. Maradona, who turned 60 on Friday, has suffered ill health before. He has survived two heart attacks, and also contracted hepatitis and undergone gastric bypass surgery. Groups of fans congregated outside the clinic with banners showing Maradona’s face and the words “Come on, Diego!” “I came with my wife to support the greatest player of all time,” fan Oscar Medina told AFP. “Once more his health has played a trick on him but he has antibodies to recover with the help of the people,” added Medina. “I feel very sad and impotent but we’re going to stay by his side until the last day,” said another fan, Matias Di Sciosio. Earlier on Tuesday, Luque insisted it was “a routine operation” and that Maradona was “lucid” and “calm.” Argentine media speculated the clot was the result of a blow to the head. Luque said the clot was “imperceptible” and that those suffering from one rarely remembered receiving a knock to the head. “The operation consists of a small incision to drain the blood. In 24 or 48 hours the patient can leave the hospital,” neurosurgeon Raul Matera told TyC Sports channel. Anemic Maradona was transferred from the hospital in La Plata, 60 kilometers (37 miles) south of Buenos Aires, to the capital at 6:00 pm (2100 GMT) accompanied by one of his daughters, Giannina. Dozens of Gimnasia fans outside the La Plata hospital chanted his name as he left. Earlier in the day, Luque claimed Maradona was feeling “much better and eager to leave” hospital but insisted that the Gimnasia Y Esgrima coach was suffering from anemia—a lack of iron in his system—and dehydration.