Pope expected to leave hospital on Saturday

Pope Francis is expected to be discharged from hospital on Saturday, the Vatican has said.

His return to his Vatican residence at Santa Marta depended on the results of final tests carried out on Friday morning, it added.

The Pope was admitted to Gemelli Hospital in Rome on Wednesday with breathing difficulties.

He was later diagnosed as having bronchitis, although the Vatican said he had responded well to antibiotics.

According to a statement, the 86-year-old Pope dined on pizza alongside medical staff on Thursday evening and after breakfast on Friday morning read some newspapers and resumed work.

His admission to hospital came ahead of the busiest time in his annual schedule, with events and services scheduled throughout Easter week.

The Pope was said to be eager to leave hospital in time for Palm Sunday Mass this weekend.

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