Argentine football great Diego Maradona is not allowed to leave hospital yet following brain surgery on a blood clot, his doctor said on Friday.
Maradona, 60, underwent surgery on Tuesday to remove the clot lodged between his brain and skull.
And while the World Cup winner is determined to leave the clinic in Buenos Aires where he is recovering, Leopoldo Luque said he won’t be allowed to any time soon.
“It’s one of the few times I’ve said ‘no’ to Diego,” said Luque. “He’s still insisting he won’t, but he will remain” at the clinic.
Luque had revealed on Thursday that Maradona was receiving intensive treatment for withdrawal symptoms.
Although the doctor didn’t say so himself, Maradona is widely known to be addicted to alcohol.
“You cannot imagine how difficult Diego can be, but in that moment I had to try to be stronger than him,” said Luque, who added that Maradona’s family was involved in the decision to keep him in hospital.
Maradona, who went into isolation last week after one of his bodyguards displayed coronavirus symptoms, had looked unwell during a brief appearance last Friday at his 60th birthday celebration at the stadium of Gimnasia y Esgrima, the Argentine Primera Division team he coaches.
He seemed to have difficulty walking and did not hang around to watch his side’s match.
On Monday he was taken to hospital in La Plata, where the club is based, suffering from symptoms of anemia and dehydration.
Tests revealed the blood clot, after which Maradona was transferred to a specialist clinic in the capital.
Maradona has been admitted to hospital three times in the last 20 years for serious health issues — two of which were potentially fatal — due to his drug and alcohol addictions.
Now free of drugs, Maradona remains dependent on alcohol but has been “sedated to calm this process,” said Luque, adding that the iconÂ is confused.
Psychiatrist Agustina Kosachov said Maradona was “well” but that “we can’t say exactly how many days he’ll stay” in hospital.
Psychologist Carlos Diaz added that Maradona was “progressing well and that’s something amazing that we’re used to with Diego.”