Football: Muamba recovering after 'comfortable' night

20th March 2012, Comments 0 comments

Bolton player Fabrice Muamba spent a "comfortable night" in intensive care as he continues his recovery from a cardiac arrest, doctors treating him said on Tuesday.

The 23-year-old is spending his fourth day at the London Chest Hospital after collapsing on the pitch during an FA Cup quarter-final against Tottenham on Saturday.

The family of the player, who was born in the Democratic Republic of Congo but came to Britain at the age of 11, are said to be touched by the public support they have received.

A joint statement by Bolton and the hospital trust said: "Fabrice Muamba has had a comfortable night in the intensive care unit at the London Chest Hospital where the medical team is continuing to monitor his progress.

"Fabrice's family has asked us to thank everyone again for their thoughts and prayers and for the continued messages of support from which they draw great strength."

Bolton manager Owen Coyle paid another visit to the former England Under-21 international's bedside on Tuesday and later told waiting reporters he had enjoyed a "brief conversation" with the midfielder.

"It's very early in the process, the doctors have stressed that so we all know what's involved," Coyle said. "Fabrice still has a long way to go but it's encouraging signs and whilst that is the case it's really positive and we move forward from that point.

"I was fortunate to see him and had a brief conversation which will obviously remain between us. We have to understand it's early in his continued fight for improvement."

Asked if Muamba would make a full recovery, Coyle said: "That's something they (the doctors) have said has happened before.

"Every case is on it's own merits, but we've said consistently the two things Fabrice has which can help him further is that he's such a fit young man and the life he's had he has had to fight and earn every step of the way.

"Those two things I am sure will stand him in good stead."

As to whether Muamba would resume his football career, Coyle said: "It is something which has happened before.

"There are two things which might help - he is such a fit young man and in the life that he has had he has needed to fight every step of the way."

Meanwhile the hospital urged friends of Muamba to postpone any further visits "to ensure the smooth running of the hospital for all patients -- as well as Fabrice's need to concentrate on his recovery".

One of Muamba's friends, Curtis Codrington, said Monday that the player had started to speak in English and French when he visited his bedside.

In the wake of the Muamba incident, the English Premier League has said it will review its medical procedures.

The league's chief executive Peter Scudamore praised officials and medical staff for saving Muamba's life on Saturday and said he wanted to ensure other players receive the best possible care.

The level of care he received after collapsing at White Hart Lane owed much to lessons learned when Chelsea goalkeeper Petr Cech suffered a fractured skull during a match five years ago.

Speaking to a sports business breakfast in London, Scudamore said: "If there are ways and means of making it better in the future -- just like we did in 2006-07 following the Petr Cech incident -- we will do everything we can to make sure we reduce to the point of elimination, if we possibly can, things like that.

"There are no guarantees but we will do whatever we can to improve."

© 2012 AFP

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