DIEGO MARADONA is set to undergo emergency surgery just days after his 60th birthday - after doctors discovered a blood clot on his brain.
The subdural haematoma, a type of brain bleed, was spotted during tests at the private clinic in La Plata, an hour’s drive south of Buenos Aires where he was admitted on Monday.
He is now due to be transferred to a hospital in Olivos on the outskirts of the Argentine capital where the operation will take place.
Journalist Martin Arevalo, a personal friend of the footballing legend who turned 60 last Friday, said: “At midday I spoke with him and he was feeling okay.
“Two hours later they showed him the results of a scan and he had a haematoma.
“They had to act quickly and they’re taking him to a clinic in Olivos.
“The idea was that they would discharge him from hospital on Wednesday or Thursday but then they found this. The operation can’t wait.”
A subdural haematoma is a build-up of blood on the surface of the brain.
The blood builds up in a space between the protective layers surrounding the brain.
The most common cause is head injury which can be from a car crash, fall or violent attack.
Playing high-impact sports also puts people at higher risk.
Maradona's personal doctor insisted today the former footballer had reacted 'calmly' to the news he had a brain clot and needed an operation.
Leopoldo Luque tried to play down the seriousness of the situation by saying: “Diego is lucid and has agreed to the op.
“It’s routine surgery. The majority of patients who have this type of haematoma are very old.
“The situation hasn’t changed. Diego is still the same. He’s got the same clinical condition, with a more specific diagnosis.”
In a direct message to journalists who have been outside Ipensa Hospital in La Plata since Monday, he added: “It’s information you were asking me for and I couldn’t offer you because I didn’t have anything more specific.”
ALL THE BEST, DIEGO
The surgery is expected to begin at 8pm local time, which is 11pm UK time.
Fans of the former Napoli and Barcelona star took to social media as news emerged of Diego’s updated health condition to express their support.
Buenos Aires-based Ernesto Arriaga, referring to Maradona’s 1986 World Cup wonder goal against England after his infamous first with his hand, wrote on Twitter: “All the best Diego. Thanks for the goal against England.”
Another wrote: “Thinking of you Diego. God give you strength.”
Source: The Sun