Pele off dialysis, remains in intensive care

Sao Paulo: Brazil legend Pele is making good progress and does not require dialysis but remains in intensive care as he battles kidney problems, the Sao Paulo hospital treating him said today.

Brazil legend Pele
Brazil legend Pele

"The patient Edson Arantes do Nascimento (Pele) has made good progress though he remains in intensive care," read a statement from the Albert Einstein Hospital, which described the 74-year-old as "lucid and stable with regard to blood flow and breathing". The clinic added that it did not consider it necessary to resume renal assistance, suspended Sunday.

"Taking clinical and laboratory parameters into consideration it will not be necessary today to undertake renal assistance. Antibiotic therapy remains the same," the hospital said. Three-time world champion Pele, widely regarded as the greatest player of all time, was hospitalised last Monday where early tests showed a urinary infection requiring administration of intravenous antibiotics.

On Thursday, the hospital said the man nicknamed 'O Rei' (the king) had been placed in intensive care after his condition became "clinically unstable," causing widespread alarm and local media to suggest his condition was "delicate," claiming Pele was suffering from septicaemia.

But Friday the clinic said he was responding to anti-biotics while the star insisted via social media he had simply been moved to another room for more privacy. Pele has only one kidney after the other was removed following complications from a rib injury he suffered while playing for the New York Cosmos in the 1970s, his agent, Jose "Pepito" Fornos, told AFP.

The star was taken off intensive kidney treatment Sunday as his condition improved following hemodialysis, a procedure which filters a patient's blood through an artificial kidney that cleans it before returning it to the body. Pele underwent surgery for kidney stones at the same hospital on November 13.

Named athlete of the 20th century by the International Olympic Committee in 1999, Pele was born on October 3, 1940 to a humble family at Tres Coracoes in the southeastern state of Minas Gerais, making his name with Santos and helping Brazil to World Cup titles in 1958, 1962 and 1970.

He achieved the first of those triumphs aged just 17, scoring twice in the final win over hosts Sweden. Pele scored 77 goals in 91 games for Brazil and scored 1,281 goals in his career.

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