Former Brazilian soccer great Pele remains in an intensive care unit and is recovering satisfactorily almost a week after surgery to remove a tumor from his colon, his doctors said on Friday.
Pele “is conscious, conversing actively and is maintaining normal vital signs,” a statement from the Alberto Einstein hospital in Sao Paulo said.
In a separate social media post, the 80-year-old three times World Cup winner said he was feeling better and joked he still had hopes of playing again.
“My friends, with each passing day I feel a little better,” he said on Instagram. “I’m looking forward to playing again, but I’m still going to recover for a few more days.”
“While I’m here, I take the opportunity to talk a lot with my family and to rest.”
Pele’s doctors discovered the tumor last week during his annual medical and he was operated on last Saturday. It was not clear if the tumor was cancerous.
The former Santos and New York Cosmos player was famous for rarely getting injured, but he has suffered from hip problems for years and cannot walk unaided.
His public appearances were already being cut before the COVID-19 pandemic and since then he has made few unnecessary forays outside his house near Santos.
His son last year said his famous father was depressed, something the star quickly denied.