Football: Pele taken off dialysis, hospital says

SAO PAULO - Brazil legend Pele was taken off intensive kidney treatment on Sunday and his condition was improving, said the Sao Paulo hospital that is treating him.

"Renal assistance was suspended (until Monday), when we will again evaluate the need for it," read a statement from the Albert Einstein Hospital.

The 74-year-old was described as "lucid" and "doing well", but "still in intensive care".

Pele had been undergoing hemodialysis, a procedure that involves filtering a patient's blood through an artificial kidney that cleans it before returning it to the body.

Certain local media had been reporting since Thursday night that 'O Rei' (The King) was suffering from septicaemia after not responding to the antibiotics and described his condition as "delicate".

Pele, whose real name is Edson Arantes do Nascimento, is widely regarded as the greatest player of all time.

He was admitted to hospital on Monday, diagnosed with a urinary infection and given intravenous antibiotics.

On Thursday, the hospital said he had been placed in intensive care after his condition became "clinically unstable," causing widespread alarm.

But Pele insisted on social media that he was fine and had simply been moved to another room for more privacy.

"I want to take this opportunity to let you know that I am doing fine," he said in posts to his Facebook and Twitter accounts.

"I am blessed to receive your love and support, and thank God this is nothing serious.

"I was simply relocated to a special room within the hospital for privacy purposes only. While I appreciate all the visitors that came to see me, I really need to continue my treatment and recovery in peace."

Pele initially underwent surgery for kidney stones at the same hospital on November 13.