Maradona swings back to life with new love golf

Updated on Apr 30, 2004 11:57 PM IST

Diego Maradona is back with his new love, golf, hitting glow-in-the-dark balls into the night hours.

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PTI | ByReuters, Buenos Aires

Diego Maradona is back with his new love, golf, hitting glow-in-the-dark balls into the night hours after discharging himself from hospital.

"The former footballer was practising swings with a luminous golf ball because night had fallen," said his official website www.diegomaradona.com. "Diego had been recommended to take strolls as part of his treatment."

The first images of the player, from Reuters television and pictures, showed the former Argentina captain getting out of a golf buggy at a plush country getaway outside Buenos Aires late on Thursday.

Since being rushed to intensive care with heart and lung trouble 13 days ago Maradona had not been seen, even though hundreds of fans held a vigil at the doors of his posh clinic.

Just days ago he was in critical condition, heavily sedated and on an artificial respirator. But Maradona decided to leave the clinic against the recommendations of his medical team because he was "fed up", local daily La Nacion reported.

The 43-year-old World Cup-winner, regarded as one of the greatest players in soccer history, looked relaxed as he walked unaided into his friend's country house on Thursday.

It was not clear how long Maradona planned to stay or whether he intends to return to Cuba, where he has lived for most of the past four years being treated for cocaine addiction.

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