By Joe Wright
Diego Maradona only had tests that led to potentially life-saving surgery after he was admitted to hospital amid concerns over his mental state, his lawyer has said.
Gimnasia y Esgrima La Plata head coach Maradona, 60, underwent a “routine” operation for a subdural haematoma on Tuesday.
The former Napoli, Barcelona and Argentina star was operated on by Dr Leopoldo Luque, who said the procedure went “very well” and that his reaction to the surgery “is promising”.
His lawyer, Matias Morla, praised Luque’s actions – as well as those of fellow professional Carlos Diaz – as they perhaps saved Maradona’s life as he was only tested after concerns for his mental well-being.
“The last medical checks were excellent,” Morla said after visiting Maradona in hospital, according to Ole.
“Diego was very anxious [before the surgery] about what was going to happen and very satisfied with the work of Dr Luque, which was an impeccable operation.
“I want to highlight something very important: the same test that was carried out on Diego yesterday, which detected this bleeding, was also carried out in September, which shows the tireless work of Dr. Luque on Diego.
“If it had not been detected by him, Maradona’s fate would have been different. I want to make it very clear, mainly because of the criticism. Luque tested him in September.
“Diego had presented a picture of depression. That’s why I’m with Carlos Diaz, who was the one who treated Diego before and who noticed a mental issue.
“In principle, [Diaz] linked it to the issue of his birthday, to a depression caused by the pandemic and the different circumstances around it. Later, upon seeing that this picture had developed, at the request of Luque and Diaz, he was hospitalised and that’s where the test was made that resulted in the operation.
“I don’t know the causes of the haematoma and I’m not a doctor. What I do know is he had strange behaviour, he was very depressed, he made comments referring to relatives who died, that he missed them. He always, on every birthday, suffers from a kind of nostalgia.
“He really misses his mother – this is always the same on the subject of birthdays – but this year it increased, so I’m here with the psychologist who intervened.”
*Joe Wright reported for Livescore.com