Pele will be home before Christmas after treatment for colon tumour, says daughter

Brazil great Pele was admitted to hospital for a scheduled procedure as part of his treatment for a colon tumour but he will be home in time to spend Christmas with his family, his daughter Kely Nascimento said.

Three-time World Cup winner Pele, who was admitted to Sao Paulo's Hospital Albert Einstein on Wednesday, underwent an operation to remove the tumour in September and spent nearly a month under care.

The hospital said at the time that the 81-year-old would need to undergo chemotherapy.

"In two or three days he will be back home to enjoy Christmas," his daughter said on Instagram. "This was not a surprise. It was already scheduled and is part of the treatment."

Pele said on Thursday he will remain in the hospital "for a few days." He said on Instagram he has been "having small chemotherapy sessions as part of my treatment.'' He added he had just finished the last session of 2021.

"I wanted to share this achievement with you. After all, every little victory is a reason to celebrate, don't you think?'' he wrote, with a picture showing him in a hospital gown and a clenched right fist. "Don't worry, I'm just getting ready for the holiday season!''

Widely considered to be one of the greatest footballers of all time, Pele has suffered from a series of health issues in recent years. Hip surgery left him with recurring pain and he cannot now walk unaided.

He appeared upbeat in videos taken during his recovery period in September and October and he said on Twitter last month that he was feeling better.

Pele won the 1958, 1962 and 1970 World Cups, and remains Brazil's all-time leading scorer with 77 goals in 92 matches.

Information from Reuters and The Associated Press was used in this report.