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Pele has back surgery, may leave hospital next week

Cosmos legend Pele waves to the crowd before

Cosmos legend Pele waves to the crowd before the Cosmos' home opener against the Tampa Bay Rowdies at Hofstra University's James M. Shuart Stadium on Saturday, April 18, 2015. Credit: Brad Penner

SAO PAULO - Pele has successfully undergone back surgery for nerve root decompression and his postoperative recovery is satisfactory, the Albert Einstein Hospital in Sao Paulo said on Saturday.

The hospital said in a statement Pele was hospitalized on Monday, and the "previously scheduled" surgery was performed on Tuesday.

The statement did not say when 74-year-old Pele was expected to be discharged, but the UOL and G1 news portals said he would leave the hospital next week.

Paul Kemsley, Pele's manager, said in an email to The Associated Press that Pele "underwent elective surgery to fix discomfort in his back and hip. This is the first of two corrective procedures which will be done in Brazil over the next few months to ensure Pele is strong and healthy for the Rio Olympics and all of its related travel. Perhaps he'll even play!"

Pele is widely regarded as the greatest soccer player.

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