Bolton Wanderers defensive midfielder Fabrice Muamba is continuing his strong and positive recovery from a cardiac arrest suffered while playing for his club in an FA Cup fixture against Tottenham, about a month ago.
Muamba, 23, collapsed at White Hart Lane in the first half, following which he was treated on the pitch before being rushed to The Heart Attack Centre at the London Chest Hospital. Fortunately, despite the doctors declaring Muamba's heart actually failed to beat for an amazing 78 minutes, the player staged a remarkable fight-back and was discharged on 18 April, after being fitted with a pacemaker.
"I am naturally very pleased to be discharged from hospital and would like to take this opportunity to pay tribute to every single member of staff at The London Chest Hospital who have played a part in my care," he said in a statement on the official Bolton website; there are more details in this earlier IBTimes UK report.
Initial reports suggested Muamba would be forced to retire from professional football - the renewed strain of training and matches, coupled with the fact of a pacemaker was believed to be dangerous a proposition. However, according to a report in the Daily Mail, Bolton manager Owen Coyle has backed his star man to make a stunning return to the pitch, soon.
"I'd come in from training and Shauna (Muamba's fiancée) sent me a message: 'There's somebody who'd like to speak to you.' And when I spoke to him, you can always tell from the sound of somebody's voice and he sounded in a good place. It was great to hear from him and he sounded terrific. Of course, that's a huge boost given where he's come from. We've all seen the sad events in Italy," Coyle explained, referring to his first conversation with Muamba and the death of Piermario Morosini, a second-division footballer, also from a cardiac arrest.
"I understand, because of the interest, that everybody thinks he's released from hospital so that's it, he's singing and dancing down the street, but people have got to understand there's room for continued improvement. But knowing Fabrice and how much of a battler he is, it wouldn't surprise me if he comes back. But I've got to stress he still needs that time with his family unit," Coyle added.
Meanwhile, according to another report in The Sun, former England striker Trevor Francis, 57, was also discharged, on 16 April, after being cleared of a suspected heart attack.