BUENOS AIRES (Reuters) - Argentine President Cristina Fernandez was discharged from hospital on Sunday after successful surgery last week to remove blood from the surface of her brain, but cannot yet resume public duties, the government said.
Fernandez has been advised to take 30 days of strict rest and avoid air travel. Her health will continue to be closely monitored, the medical report released by the government said.
"The medical team attending the president has decided to discharge her," spokesman Alfredo Scoccimarro said. "She's still in an excellent mood and still in an ongoing recovery, and sends you a big kiss and lots of affection to all those who have prayed for her here and in the world."
Scoccimarro said on Saturday that Fernandez was walking, had leafed through some books and started to ask for food. "For instance, they offered her apple puree and she asked for plum puree," he said.
Dozens of supporters brandishing Argentine flags and posters with messages such as "the people need you" cheered Fernandez as she left the hospital in central Buenos Aires to head to the Olivos presidential house where she will convalesce.
Fernandez has been recovering since Tuesday in the intensive care unit of the Fundacion Favaloro hospital, where the surgery to drain blood that had pooled between her brain and skull took place.
The subdural hematoma came after Fernandez hit her head in a fall in August. The accident wasn't disclosed at the time and its details have not been made public.
SIDELINED AHEAD OF KEY VOTE
The sharp-tongued, two-term leftist leader has been sidelined ahead of a key mid-term election on October 27 and at the apex of a rancorous court battle with Argentina's "holdout" creditors.
When she became ill, Fernandez was in full campaign mode, making speeches on behalf of allies running in the mid-term primary, which will determine whether her coalition keeps control of Congress during her final two years in power.
Vice President Amado Boudou has taken over public duties, but Fernandez, known for micro-managing her cabinet, is likely to want to take control again as soon as she can.
The hematoma appeared at a sensitive time for her administration. Argentines are increasingly unhappy about double-digit inflation and government-imposed currency controls that have clamped down on access to U.S. dollars as part of an effort to halt capital flight.
Fernandez is also embroiled in a legal battle against holdout bond investors who declined to participate in Argentina's 2005 and 2010 debt restructurings and are suing for full repayment.
Fernandez had her thyroid glands removed last year after she was diagnosed with cancer, although later tests indicated no cancer was present. Her late husband, former President Nestor Kirchner, died from a heart attack in 2010.
(Reporting by Jorge Otaola; Writing by Alexandra Ulmer; Editing by David Brunnstrom and Bill Trott)