Olympic officials are hoping to welcome Pele back into the Rio 2016 Games. The world's most famous soccer player is to be invited to appear at the Olympic Closing Ceremony after missing the curtain-raiser through poor health.
Pele, 75, who won the World Cup three times with Brazil, has been walking with a cane and seeing doctors about his ailment.
But Rio officials hope he will be back to health by the time the Olympics close on August 21.
Hopes that Pele will be well enough to be able to wave farewell to Olympians at the Closing Ceremony have been boosted by his revelation that he will be well enough to travel to Africa on business later this week.
After the Olympics he is due to visit England and Scotland next month. The newly-married Brazilian hero withdrew from lighting the Olympic Flame at the eleventh hour citing his medical needs.
Pele's spokesman Pepito Fornos said: 'He is walking with a cane. His doctor thought it best that he continues physiotherapy, that he rests and we hope that he will be able to appear at the closing ceremony.'
One Olympic official said: 'If Pele's diary is clear on that day, of course he will be there and play a part. He is the most famous Brazilian in the world.'
Pele could be asked to lower the Olympic flag and present it to officials from Tokyo where the 2020 Olympics are destined. The Closing Ceremony, like the curtain-raiser, draws a billion-plus global TV audience as the host nation says goodbye to departing athletes.
Pele married for the third time last month when he wed long time girlfriend Marcia Cibele Aoki, a 50-year-old businesswoman.
They first met in an elevator in New York in 1980 and bumped into each other again in Sao Paolo years later.
He was previously married for 12 years to Rosemeri Cholbi, with whom he had three children and in 1994 he made singer Assiria Nascimento his wife. They had twin sons during their 14-year marriage but divorced in 2008.