Former Brazilian football great Pele remained in intensive care on Friday as he recovered from surgery to remove a tumor on the right side of his colon.
Hospital Albert Einstein in Sao Paulo said in a statement that 80-year-old Edson Arantes do Nascimento was recovering “in a satisfactory manner,” though still in intensive care.
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The hospital said on Monday that Pele was expected to be moved to a regular room on Tuesday. The hospital also said Pele is “awake, actively talking and keeping his vital signs in normality.”
The three-time World Cup champion also said on his Instagram that “each day I feel a little better.”
“My friends, with each passing day I feel a little better. 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. Thanks again for all the loving messages. We’ll be together again soon!”, Pele posted on Friday.
He went to the hospital for routine exams at the end of August when the tumor was found. The hospital said in a statement then that the tumor was identified during routine cardiovascular and laboratory exams. It added it collected samples to be analyzed but has not released the results.
Pele, the only male player to win three World Cups, has had mobility problems since a failed hip replacement surgery in 2012. He has been forced to use walkers and wheelchairs in public. He has also been admitted to several hospitals in recent years for kidney and prostate procedures.
Pele won the 1958, 1962 and 1970 World Cups, and remains Brazil’s all-time leading scorer with 77 goals in 92 matches. That record had been most all-time for men’s South American player until Thursday, when Argentina’s Lionel Messi scored three times against Bolivia to reach 79 goals in 153 appearances.