Doctors were consulting about the possibility of performing a tracheotomy (search) on Pope John Paul II (search), who was hospitalized Thursday after suffering fever and congestion from a recurrence of the flu, a news agency reported.

ANSA, an Italian news agency, said doctors were considering the procedure in which a hole is made in the throat and a tube is inserted to assist breathing. The report did not cite sources.

The 84-year-old pontiff, who appeared to have rebounded strongly after being hospitalized with the flu and breathing problems earlier this month, was rushed to thesday.

During his 10-day hospitalization earlier this month, the Vatican said John Paul did not require a tracheotomy.