“Sometimes it begins with a joint that has osteoarthritis, and other joints deteriorate due to overloading,” he stated. “We are working to make sure this doesn’t get worse and that things get better.”

Villalon claimed that he was contacted both by the Apostolic Nunciature from Spain and the Spanish Bishops’ Conference, who “asked an assortment of specialists if it could help with the pope.”

Pope Francis will turn 86 in May. Since May, he has alternated between a wheelchair and a walking stick.

In pain from a flight to Bahrain, the pope spoke out earlier this month to journalists. Pope Francis has been known to cancel public appearances and travels because of knee pain, including a July trip to Africa.

Villalon claimed that initially he was “nervous,” during his first contact with the pope. However, he said that they became friends because “he likes soccer”.

Particularly, the pope spoke of his love for Atletico de Madrid’s striker Angel Correa. Angel Correa is an Argentine soccer player who used play for San Lorenzo in Buenos Aires.

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