(SATSports) – Football legend Pele is recovering in hospital after undergoing surgery to remove a tumor from his colon.
The 80-year-old remains in intensive care but is expected to be moved to a general ward on Tuesday, according to medical staff at the Albert Einstein hospital in Sao Paulo.
“Last Saturday I underwent surgery to remove a suspicious lesion in the right colon,” Pele wrote in a social media post. “The tumor was identified during the tests I mentioned last week.
“Fortunately, I’m used to celebrating great victories alongside you. I will face this match with a smile on my face, a lot of optimism and joy for living surrounded by the love of my family and friends.”
A statement issued by the hospital said the tumor tissue had been sent to a pathologist for tests.
Pele has rarely been seen in public since undergoing hip replacement surgery in 2012.
The three-time World Cup winner has since battled a series of prostate and kidney problems that have often required treatment in hospital.
Last year, Pele’s son Edinho said his father was battling a “kind of depression” because of his fragile health and mobility issues.
Pele scored a world record tally of 1,281 goals in a 1,363-match professional career that spanned 21 years. He was capped 91 times for Brazil and scored 77 international goals.