Buenos Aires: Family members visited Argentine soccer hero Diego Maradona in the hospital on 8 April after doctors determined he was well enough to receive them, according to a daily medical report.
Known as one of the game’s greatest players, Maradona has suffered health problems since retiring 10 years ago and was hospitalized in 2000 and 2004 with severe heart trouble related to cocaine use.
The 46-year-old was admitted to a private Buenos Aires clinic 11 days ago for alcohol abuse treatment, and his relatives had been barred from seeing him since last Monday.
“Due to his favorable progress, the patient was able to receive a visit from his closest relatives during the afternoon,” the medical report stated.
Doctors have said heavy drinking provoked hepatitis in Maradona, who is being given sedatives while he fights withdrawal symptoms.
The report said Maradona “is being sedated in decreasing doses, which allows him to move around his room and eat on his own.”
The medical director of the clinic where Maradona is being treated said on Saturday the former captain who led Argentina to a World Cup victory in 1986 could leave the hospital by the middle of next week if he keeps recovering well.
Soccer’s governing body, FIFA, has named Maradona and Pele the two greatest players of the 20th century.
He became obese after retiring from soccer and underwent drug rehabilitation in Cuba and Argentina before a stomach-stapling operation in 2005 helped him lose weight. Later that year, he hosted a TV talk show in Argentina after declaring himself fully recovered.
In photographs taken soon before his most recent hospitalization, Maradona looked overweight and was shown smoking cigars.