May 7, 2015 / 9:04 PM / 4 years ago

Former Brazil soccer great Pele undergoes prostate surgery

Soccer legends Pele (R) and Franz Beckenbauer pose for photographs after they ceremonially turned on the lights of the Empire State Building during an event to celebrate the start of the New York Cosmos 2015 season, in New York April 17, 2015. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson

SAO PAULO (Reuters) - Brazilian soccer legend Pele has undergone prostate surgery and is in stable condition, a Sao Paulo hospital said on Thursday.

This is the second time Pele, 74, has been hospitalized in six months.

In a statement, the Albert Einstein Hospital said Pele had undergone a transurethral resection of the prostate. According to the U.S. National Institutes of Health’s website, the procedure involves removing an internal part of the prostate gland in order to treat an enlarged prostate.

Earlier in the day, local news site Globo Esporte said Pele had a prostate condition known as hyperplasia, which it said increases the risk of a urinary infection. The report did not cite sources.

Pele, whose given name is Edson Arantes do Nascimento, was released from the same hospital in early December following a two-week stay with kidney problems.

With more than 1,280 career goals, and an unequaled three World Cup titles during his playing career, Pele is considered by many the greatest soccer player of all time.

Reporting by Tatiana Ramil; Writing by Brian Winter; Editing by Peter Galloway, G Crosse

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