Nwankwo Kanu
Kanu first underwent corrective heart surgery in 1997.Reuters

Nigerian football ace Nwankwo Kanu has undergone corrective heart surgery for the second time.

The former Arsenal player, founder of the Kanu Heart Foundation, went under the knife at the Cleveland Hospital Ohio, USA following a routine medical check earlier this month.

Kanu, who won two league titles during his heyday at Arsenal, is said to be recovering well following the successful procedure.

"He'll be back home in a few days' time, I spoke with him Sunday afternoon and he confirmed he's in a stable condition," Onyebuchi Abia, coordinator of Kanu Heart Foundation, told KickOffNigeria.com.

"Even from his hospital bed he expressed his profound gratitude to President Goodluck Jonathan for the award bestowed on him at the Centenary Award Ceremony in Abuja on Friday."

The operation comes 17 years after Kanu's first career-saving operation at the same hospital in 1997. He was diagnosed with a congenital heart defect in August 1996 whiel playing for Inter Milan.

Following his recovery he launched the Kanu Heart Foundation, a non-profit organisation designed to help children born with heart defects get the corrective heart surgeries that they need.