Brazilian soccer great Pele has returned to the hospital for a routine checkup, his business’s manager told Reuters on Thursday, as he undergoes treatment after having a colon tumour removed last year.
Sports TV network ESPN reported earlier in the day that Pele, 81, was back at Sao Paulo’s Albert Einstein hospital for new chemotherapy sessions.
ESPN said he was diagnosed with a tumour in the intestine, one in the liver and the beginning of another in a lung, and would undergo new exams to find other possible cancer spots.
It said Pele was in stable condition and could leave the hospital on Thursday, but due to his fragile condition he would be closely monitored.
The hospital’s press office said it did not have any information regarding Pele’s hospitalization.
The three-time World Cup winner underwent an operation to remove a colon tumour in September 2021 and spent nearly a month under care.
He was hospitalized again last month for chemotherapy sessions and discharged on Dec. 23.
Widely considered one of the greatest footballers of all time, Pele has suffered from a series of health issues in recent years, including a hip surgery that left him with recurring pain and trouble walking unaided.
Pele reduced his public appearances in recent times, especially as the COVID-19 pandemic struck, but remains active on social media. Earlier this week, he posted a video on Instagram congratulating Portugal’s Cristiano Ronaldo after the Manchester United star received a special award from FIFA.