Manchester United legend Sir Bobby Charlton underwent minor surgery on Monday after being taken ill before the Laureus World Sport Awards.
The 74-year-old was due to receive an award but did not appear after having an operation to remove a suspected gallstone.
United boss Sir Alex Ferguson told Sky Sports News: "Sir Bobby is fine, but it was felt he should go back to Manchester. He is very annoyed not to be here to receive this award.
"I'll be taking the statuette back to Old Trafford for him. He loves the work he does for Laureus and I know how delighted he is to have received this tribute."
Charlton was a World Cup winner with England in 1966.