"His progress has been satisfactory -- it's perfect. He has lost around 6 kilos," Dr. Chaux told Efe on Monday. The Colombian doctor, who has looked after the Argentine legend for 11 years, repeated that Maradona "is doing well, he's in very good condition and will soon be leaving Maracaibo", where he is observing a period of repose at the Hotel Intercontinental to recover from his operation.

"He should be leaving Maracaibo the day after tomorrow, since he is now able to travel," said Chaux, who couldn't say whether the soccer idol plans to spend a few days in Caracas. The 55-year-old was released from Maracaibo's Falcon Clinic two days after surgery and, constantly accompanied by a nutritionist, has had a daily diet based on proteins.

Maradona travelled to Venezuela with three friends and has not revealed whether he has other plans on his agenda besides the ones related to his health.

Maradona, who stands 1.6 metres (5 feet, 3 inches) tall, weighed close to 100 kg and is staying well below the 136 kg that he weighed when he was operated for the first time 10 years ago while suffering from "morbid obesity" associated with problems of hypertension and heart problems.

Among the reasons why specialists chose Maracaibo for the surgery, according to Dr. Chaux, is because the city is home to the Obesity and Metabolism Surgery Unit of the Falcon Clinic, selected as the preferred facility for the operation.He also said that Maradona "considers Venezuela a place that has welcomed him as one of its sons, so that he feels more comfortable here".

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