Pope in hospital 'a few more days'
ROME, Italy (CNN) -- Pope John Paul II has accepted his doctors' advice to remain hospitalized "for a few more days," the Vatican said Thursday.
Earlier this week, Vatican spokesman Joaquin Navarro-Valls said the 84-year-old pontiff would be back at his Vatican apartments by Holy Week, March 20 to 27.
On Monday, Navarro-Valls said the pope was improving but that doctors ordered "a prudent limitation in the pope's use of his voice" to encourage further improvement.
The pontiff, wearing the purple robes used during Lent, appeared at the window of his hospital room Wednesday and blessed a large crowd assembled outside Gemelli Polyclinic hospital.
Wednesday is traditionally the day of the Pope's weekly general audience, which has been suspended for the last two weeks after the pontiff suffered a relapse of the flu, for which he was initially hospitalized February 1 to 10.
The pope experienced breathing difficulties and was re-hospitalized on February 24, when doctors performed the surgery.
The pope blessed a cheering crowd Sunday from his hospital room at as the traditional Angelus blessing was conducted in his absence -- for the second week in a row, the only times in his 26-year papacy that he has not done so himself -- in St. Peter's Square.