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Pelé takes 'a little step back' in recovery from surgery

Last Updated Sep 17, 2021 at 3:00 pm MST

FILE - In this Dec. 1, 2017, file photo, Brazilian soccer legend Pele attends the 2018 soccer World Cup draw in the Kremlin in Moscow. Pele has successfully undergone surgery for the removal of a kidney stone in a Sao Paulo hospital. The Albert Einstein Hospital said on its website Saturday, April 13, 2019, that Pele's surgery went well, but did not provide additional details. (AP Photo/Alexander Zemlianichenko, File)

SAO PAULO (AP) — Brazilian soccer great Pele “took a little step back” in his recovery from surgery to remove a tumor from his colon, his daughter Kely Nascimento said Friday, but he is “recovering well” at a Sao Paulo hospital.

She did not comment on local media reports saying the 80-year-old Edson Arantes do Nascimento is back in intensive care.

Kely Nascimento posted a picture 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 has not issued new statements on Pelé’s health since Tuesday, when he was removed from intensive care.

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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Mauricio Savarese, The Associated Press