Diego Maradona is already showing signs of improvement after undergoing an operation for possible bleeding on his brain.
Dr Leopoldo Luque, the 60-year-old Argentinian's personal physician, has said that Maradona 'laughed' and 'grabbed my hand' just a day after he had the procedure.
Maradona, who played for the likes of Napoli, Barcelona and Boca Juniors before hanging up his boots in 1997, is set to remain in a clinic in La Plata, south of Buenos Aires, for at least 48 hours as he recovers.
Dr Leopoldo Luque said Maradona is already showing signs of improvement after surgery
Fans have placed messages outside the clinic as Maradona recovers after brain surgery
But Luque provided an update on Wednesday in which he said the early signs were 'favourable'.
'Diego is without any type of neurological deficit, without any type of complication associated with surgery. He has an excellent post-operative period, the laboratory parameters even improved,' said Luque addressing reporters at the clinic's door.
'We are controlling him. Today we removed the drain. We are in total harmony with the intensive care doctors, who are actually in charge of Diego at this time. We are here to accompany them and help them as much as possible.
'Diego is fine, he is with analgesia. We are trying to make him recover progressively. They are decisions of the therapy doctors, with whom we are in full agreement. We are working together, along the same lines, and Diego has been responding very well.
The 60-year-old underwent 'successful' surgery on a blood clot to the brain on Tuesday
'He is in a post-operative period and the moods are difficult to assess. However, when we removed the drain today he laughed, looked at me, grabbed my hand, and the first impression is it is favourable, but it is difficult to evaluate.
'Diego's evolution is day by day and in principle today he will be in intensive care as well.
Lionel Messi sent a heartfelt tribute to Diego Maradona on Instagram with a picture of the pair
Messi accompanied the picture on social media with a message: 'A hug from the heart'
'We are going to see when, in coordination with the doctors, we carry out a control tomography. That will depend on the evolution.'
Argentina's all-time leading scorer Lionel Messi took to Instagram on Wednesday to wish his compatriot well.
Alongside a picture of the pair together, the Barcelona forward wrote in Spanish: 'Diego, all the strength in the world. My family and I want to see you well as soon as possible. A hug from the heart!'
Fans have been praying for the Argentine football legend's swift recovery following surgery
His 'Hand of God' goal against England is one of the sport's most controversial moments ever
Maradona had reportedly been suffering from additional signs of depression earlier this week