Maradona sedated to help ease recovery from alcohol dependency

FILE PHOTO: Soccer Football - Argentina - La Plata, Argentina - September 8, 2019 Diego Maradona during his presentation as new coach of Gimnasia y Esgrima REUTERS/Agustin Marcarian

BUENOS AIRES (Reuters) - Argentina soccer great Diego Maradona has been sedated by doctors to help him cope with withdrawal symptoms from alcohol dependency, his personal doctor said on Friday.

Alfredo Cahe said Maradona, who underwent emergency surgery on Tuesday for a subdural haematoma, a blood clot on the brain, had been sedated after suffering from "episodes of confusion" linked to withdrawal symptoms.

"He has to have treatment to stop drinking alcohol and all his family is in agreement that Diego as he is now is unmanageable," Cahe told TyC Sports, an Argentine TV channel.

"We need to take the bull by the horns."

"He has liver problems, cardiovascular problems. It's not his brain on one hand, his liver on another, his stomach, it's a mix of things. We need to clean Diego up and then we'll see. He is still a complicated patient."

Maradona, who won the World Cup with Argentina in 1986 and is considered one of the greatest players of all time, has suffered frequent periods in hospital over the years, often due to his extravagant lifestyle.

The 60-year old former Barcelona, Napoli and Boca Juniors player had argued to leave the Buenos Aires clinic where he was operated on but Cahe said Maradona was in no fit state to be on his own.

"What Diego's future is going to look like is a mystery and it worries me, he can't go home like this," said Cahe, who has treated the wayward star for decades.

Maradona needs to be in a place "where he has permanent help," Cahe added.

The former coach of the Argentine national team is currently manager of first division club Gimnasia y Esgrima but he looked weak and ponderous on his last public appearance before the operation, ahead of his club's game against Patronato.

Maradona received a plaque and a cake to mark his 60th birthday but did not stay for the game and concerns over his health grew.

(Reporting by Ramiro Scandolo in Buenos Aires, writing by Andrew Downie; Editing by Christian Radnedge)

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