Pele discharged from hospital, will spend Christmas with family

Brazilian soccer legend Pele laughs during the inauguration of a refurbished soccer field at the Mineira slum in Rio de Janeiro September 10, 2014. REUTERS/Ricardo Moraes

SAO PAULO, Dec 23 (Reuters) - Brazilian soccer great Pele has been discharged, Sao Paulo's Albert Einstein hospital said on Thursday, and will spend Christmas at home after months of medical issues following an operation to remove a colon tumor.

"The patient is stable and will continue his treatment for a colon tumor that was identified in September," the statement said.

On Instagram, the 81-year-old Pele posted a picture of himself smiling. The photo, he wrote, was "not for nothing."

"As I had promised you guys, I will spend Christmas with my family. I'm going home. Thanks for the all the kind messages," he wrote.

In early December, Pele had said he would be home from hospital in days.

Widely considered as one of the greatest footballers of all time, the three-time World Cup winner has suffered from a series of health issues in recent years. Hip surgery left him with recurring pain and he cannot now walk unaided.

Reporting by Eduardo Simoes; Editing by Ken Ferris

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