Argentina great Maradona taken to hospital, doctor says he 'is psychologically ill'

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Argentina legend Diego Maradona remained in the hospital on Tuesday in the city of La Plata, with his personal doctor saying that the World Cup winner is suffering from depression but adding it is not an emergency situation.

Dr. Leopoldo Luque told ESPN F90 in Argentina that Maradona can "leave if he wants" but he "needed to stay hydrated, get some blood tests and studies.

"He has anemia and was dehydrated and we are working to correct that," Luque said on Tuesday. "In reality, we will correct one part but this is going to be a long-term treatment that will continue after he leaves the hospital.

"My idea is to have him at least three days to check on him and keep him under control, but if he wanted to work he could do so now," Luque said, adding that "Maradona is psychologically ill and that can affect your physical health.

"He is in good spirits," Luque said. "He is very weak, very tired and having trouble walking. And the anemia has many factors, one of them being nutrition. He has had the gastric bypass, which means he does not absorb iron very well and he is more likely to suffer from these types of problems.

"The medical recommendation is that he rest, but the decision is up to him," Luque added. "But he is awake and he took a walk down the hall this morning."

Maradona, who celebrated his 60th birthday on Friday and manages first-division side Gimnasia y Esgrima de La Plata, was in attendance of the team's 3-0 win over against Patronato before leaving at kickoff.

Maradona sat out Gimnasia's first days of training in August as a precaution to avoid the risk of becoming infected with COVID-19 as he is considered in the risk group.

Since ending his playing career in 1997, the ex-Napoli, Barcelona, and Boca Juniors star has battled a series of health issues. He admitted to hospital in January 2019 with internal bleeding in the stomach. He also fell ill at the 2018 World Cup in Russia, where he was filmed passing out in an executive box at the Argentina-Nigeria game.

In 2004, he was hospitalized with severe heart and respiratory problems related to a long battle with drug addiction. He has undergone two gastric bypass operations to control his weight and also received treatment for alcohol abuse.

Luque denied Maradona contracted COVID-19. Maradona had isolated at home for days after a person he works with showed symptoms of the disease.

"He did not have energy. The birthday was a factor that complicates it in some aspect," the doctor said. "My idea is to have him hydrated for three days, see the evolution and adjust the medication. There is no emergency at all.''

A Maradona staffer told The Associated Press the former footballer's health condition is "not serious."

He requested anonymity because he was not authorized to speak about the issue.

"He has been very sad for a week, didn't want to eat," the staffer said.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.