Sources: Maradona to have emergency brain surgery

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Argentina football legend Diego Maradona will undergo emergency surgery to treat a subdural hematoma, a blood clot on the brain, his personal physician told reporters on Tuesday, after he was admitted to a hospital a day earlier.

Maradona was admitted to the Ipensa clinic in La Plata on Monday with anemia, dehydration and depression, but will now undergo the procedure after an MRI revealed a subdural hematoma.

Leopoldo Luque, Maradona’s personal doctor, will perform the surgery at Clinica Olivos in Buenos Aires province on Tuesday.

“We did an MRI one month ago and everything was normal,” Luque said. “We repeated the study and we saw the subdural hematoma. These types of injuries are tough to spot, I don’t know it he suffered some kind of hit or fall.

“This is a routine surgery that even [Argentina’s] vice president [Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner] has undergone. The panorama has not changed, he continues to have the same clinical diagnosis but now we have a more concrete diagnosis.

“He is alert, he understands and he is in agreement about the surgery. He is not upset,” he said.

Maradona manages first-division side Gimnasia y Esgrima de La Plata but has sat out of the team’s training as a precaution to avoid the risk of becoming infected with COVID-19 as he is considered in the risk group.

Maradona, who celebrated his 60th birthday last Friday, was in attendance of Gimnasia’s 3-0 win over against Patronato before leaving at kickoff.

He led Argentina to the World Cup title and is widely considered to be one of the greatest players of all time.

Since ending his playing career in 1997, the ex-Napoli, Barcelona, and Boca Juniors star has battled a series of health issues. He admitted to hospital in January 2019 with internal bleeding in the stomach. 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.

In 2004, he was hospitalised with severe heart and respiratory problems related to a long battle with drug addiction. He has undergone two gastric bypass operations to control his weight and also received treatment for alcohol abuse.