VATICAN CITY: Pope John Paul will remain in hospital "for a few more days," though he will be back at the Vatican by March 20, Vatican spokesman Joaquin Navarro-Valls said.
"On the advice of his doctors, the Holy Father will prolong his stay in hospital for a few more days," he said.
He gave no precise date for his discharge from Rome's Gemelli polyclinic.
However, he confirmed that the 84-year-old pontiff would be out of hospital before Easter Holy Week ceremonies, which this year begin on March 20 with Palm Sunday.
"He will spend Holy Week at the Vatican," the spokesman said.
In the meantime, the Pope needed to remain in hospital "in order to complete his convalescence, which is progressing regularly," he said.
"I do not expect to issue another communique before Monday, March 14," he said.
Before that, he said the Pope will make another appearance at his hospital window for the traditional Sunday Angelus, which according to the Vatican, will take the same form as last Sunday's appearance.
Images of the Pope waving and blessing the faithful from his window were beamed to four giant screens at St Peter's Square after an aide had presided over the traditional Sunday gathering.
However, questions surrounding John Paul II's participation at the demanding Holy Week ceremonies, his first major test since his recent health problems, remain unanswered for now.