Diego Maradona shows signs of improvement a day after successful brain surgery

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Diego Maradona is showing signs of improvement a day after undergoing successful brain surgery, the Argentina legend’s doctor has confirmed.

Maradona, 60, was initially admitted to the Ipensa Clinic in La Plata, Argentina on Monday, suffering from anaemia and dehydration.

He was later transferred to the Olivos Clinic in Buenos Aries to undergo surgery on a subdural hematoma – an accumulation of blood between a membrane and his brain.

Having initially confirmed the surgery had been a success, Dr Leopoldo Luque, the Argentinian’s personal physician, provided an update on Wednesday, saying that Maradona “laughed” and “grabbed my hand” just a day after the procedure.

“Diego is without any type of neurological deficit, without any type of complication associated with surgery. He has an excellent post-operative period, the laboratory parameters even improved,” said Luque addressing reporters at the clinic’s door.

“We are controlling him. Today we removed the drain. We are in total harmony with the intensive care doctors, who are actually in charge of Diego at this time. We are here to accompany them and help them as much as possible.

“Diego is fine, he is with analgesia. We are trying to make him recover progressively. They are decisions of the therapy doctors, with whom we are in full agreement. We are working together, along the same lines, and Diego has been responding very well.

“He is in a post-operative period and the moods are difficult to assess. However, when we removed the drain today he laughed, looked at me, grabbed my hand, and the first impression is it is favourable, but it is difficult to evaluate.

“Diego’s evolution is day by day and in principle today he will be in intensive care as well.

“We are going to see when, in coordination with the doctors, we carry out a control tomography. That will depend on the evolution.”

The hematoma was likely to have been caused by an accident, Luque added, although Maradona has said he does not remember the event.

Maradona, who won the World Cup with Argentina in 1986 and is widely considered to be one of the greatest players of all time, currently coaches local club Gimnasia y Esgrima.

He had initially self-isolated after one of his bodyguards displayed symptoms of coronavirus, the country’s state-run news agency Telam reported last Tuesday.

Maradona last appeared in public on his 60th birthday last Friday before his side’s league match against Patronato.

He was gifted a plaque and a cake to celebrate the occasion but he did not stay to watch the game and witnesses said he looked unwell and weak.

The former Napoli, Barcelona and Boca Juniors player has suffered frequent periods in hospital over the years, often due to the lifestyle that accompanied and followed his playing career.

He was taken into hospital in 2004 with severe heart and respiratory problems linked to cocaine use.

Maradona 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.

He also fell ill at the 2018 World Cup in Russia, where he was filmed passing out in an executive box at the Argentina-Nigeria game, and was admitted to hospital in January 2019 with internal bleeding in the stomach.