Diego Maradona will undergo surgery for a subdural hematoma on Tuesday evening in Buenos Aires, the Argentina legend's doctor has confirmed.
Maradona had been hospitalised since Monday night for anaemia and dehydration, though the 60-year-old's condition had been improving, his personal doctor had said earlier on Tuesday.
The operation was expected to begin around 8pm local time to address the condition, which is a pool of blood, often caused by a head injury, that can put pressure on the brain.
Leopoldo Luque, Maradona's personal physician, said the procedure was a "routine surgery".
"We are going to operate today. He is lucid, he understands, he agrees with the intervention," Luque said.
Maradona, who won the World Cup with Argentina in 1986 and is widely considered to be one of the greatest players of all time, coaches local club Gimnasia y Esgrima.
Dozens of the club's fans have converged on the hospital since Monday evening, waving flags and holding posters with messages of support as they waited for news of Maradona's health.
"What we want the most is for Diego to get out of all this. He can, he is the greatest, the greatest in the world," said Diego Bermudez, 41, a Maradona fan waiting outside the hospital.
Maradona had initially self-isolated after one of his bodyguards displayed symptoms of coronavirus, the country's state-run news agency Telam reported last Tuesday.
He last appeared in public on his 60th birthday last Friday before his side's league match against Patronato.
He was gifted a plaque and a cake to celebrate the occasion but he did not stay to watch the game and witnesses said he looked unwell and weak.
The former Napoli, Barcelona and Boca Juniors player has suffered frequent periods in hospital over the years, often due to the extravagant lifestyle that accompanied and followed his playing career.
The former Napoli striker was also admitted to hospital in January 2019 with internal bleeding in the stomach.
He also fell ill at the 2018 World Cup in Russia, where he was filmed passing out in an executive box at the Argentina-Nigeria game.
Maradona was taken into hospital in 2004 with severe heart and respiratory problems linked to cocaine use. He later underwent drug rehabilitation in Cuba and Argentina before a stomach-stapling operation in 2005 helped him lose weight.
In 2007, he checked himself into a clinic in Buenos Aires to help him overcome alcohol abuse problems.