In this Dec. 1, 2017 file photo, Brazilian soccer legend Pele attends the 2018 soccer World Cup draw in the Kremlin in Moscow. On his social media accounts, Pele said on Monday, Sept. 6, 2021 that an apparent tumor on the right side of his colon had been removed in an operation. (AP Photo/Alexander Zemlianichenko, File)
By Mauricio Savarese
AP Sports Writer
Brazilian soccer great Pelé “took a little step back” in his recovery from surgery to remove a tumor from his colon but he is “recovering well” at a Sao Paulo hospital, his daughter Kely Nascimento said Sept. 17.
However, the Albert Einstein hospital said the 80-year-old Edson Arantes do Nascimento had returned to intensive care after “a brief breathing instability” the previous night. Pelé was currently stable in “semi-intensive” care, the hospital said, and he “continues recovering.” It did not give further details.
Kely Nascimento posted a picture Sept. 17 with her father on Instagram which she said she had just taken in his room at the Albert Einstein hospital.
“He is recovering well and within normal range. Promise!” Kely Nascimento said. “The normal recovery scenario for a man of his age after an operation like this is sometimes two steps forward and one step back. Yesterday he was tired and took a little step back.”
“Today he took two forwards!” she added, without giving more details.
The hospital had not previously issued a new statement on Pelé’s health since Sept. 14, when he was removed from intensive care.
Later Pelé confirmed on social media that he is feeling well and that he had been visited by family members during the day.
“I continue to smile every day. Thank you for all the love I get from you,” Pelé said.
The tumor was found when Pelé went for routine exams at the end of August. His surgery took place on Sept. 4.
Pelé won the 1958, 1962 and 1970 World Cups, and remains Brazil’s all-time leading scorer with 77 goals in 92 matches.
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