Pele still 'recovering well' after brief setback, return to intensive care after surgery

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·2-min read
Edson Arantes do Nascimento, a.k.a. Pele
Pele, seen here in 2019, announced earlier this month that he had undergone surgery to remove a tumor from his colon. (Marc Piasecki/Getty Images)

Pele may have taken “a little step back” in his recovery after having a tumor removed from his colon, but his daughter insisted that the Brazilian soccer star is still “recovering well” on Friday.

Pele was moved back into intensive care at the Albert Einstein hospital in Sao Paulo on Thursday night, according to the Associated Press, after “a brief breathing instability.” He is now in “semi-intensive” care and is stable, though the hospital did not elaborate.

Pele was first removed from intensive care at the hospital on Tuesday.

Pele’s daughter, Kely Nascimento, shared a photo with her dad on Instagram on Friday afternoon saying that he is still “within normal range” of recovery.

“The normal recovery scenario for a man of his age, after an operation like this, is sometimes two steps forward and one step back,” she wrote, in part. “Yesterday he was tired and took a little step back. Today he took two forwards.”

Pele, 80, announced earlier this month that he had successful surgery to remove the tumor from the right side of his colon. He said the tumor was found during routine exams, something he had stopped doing during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The tumor marks the latest health issues for Pele in recent years. He’s been hospitalized multiple times due to kidney and prostate issues, and had a failed hip replacement surgery in 2012.

Pele helped lead Brazil to three World Cup titles in 1958, 1962 and 1970, and is the only male player ever to win three World Cups. He is still Brazil’s all-time leading scorer with 77 goals.

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