Ashley Cole (R) and Shaun Wright Phillips (C) arrive at the London Chest Hospital in east London
Chelsea and England soccer player Ashley Cole (R) and Queens Park Rangers player Shaun Wright Phillips arrive at the London Chest Hospital in east London March 19, 2012. Reuters

Bolton midfielder Fabrice Muamba, who collapsed with a heart attack during a FA Cup match against Tottenham, is reportedly showing signs of improvement even though his condition still remains serious, according to an ESPN report.

"Fabrice Muamba remains in intensive care at The London Chest Hospital. He is continuing to show signs of improvement this evening. He is currently able to breathe independently without the aid of a ventilator. He has also been able to recognise family members and respond to questions appropriately," read a statement on Bolton's official web site.

"These are all positive signs of progress. However, his condition remains serious and the medical staff in intensive care will continue to monitor and treat him," said the statement.

Chelsea midfielder Michael Essien, who had gone to visit the 23-year-old Bolton star in the hospital, said that Muamba had spoken a few words in English and French, according to a Telegraph report.

Also, Curtis Codrington (a close friend of Muamba) confirmed that he had spoken to him in French and English showing small signs of recovery.

"Fabrice is speaking and moving. He has spoken minimal words in French and English," ESPN quoted Codrington as saying.

"@fmuamba is strong as an ox he said my name words can't describe what I just saw, god is go and to see his wife to be by his side was great x," Codrington posted on Twitter.

Shauna Magunda, Muamba fiancée, also took to her Twitter page to thank all the people for praying and supporting Muamba.

"All your prayers are working people thank you so so much. Every prayer makes him stronger," she tweeted.

Bolton chairman Phil Gartside, who had gone to visitMuamba along with Trotters' boss Owen Coyle, released an official statement on Bolton's official web site thanking everyone who had cared and shown concern for Muamba at such a time.

"On behalf of our club, I would like to thank the Premier League, the FA and all the clubs who have been in touch to offer their support. This has extended worldwide with FIFA, UEFA and the global footballing family also," according to a statement on Bolton's official web site.

"I would also like to offer our thanks and deep appreciation to all those at Tottenham Hotspur yesterday and Aston Villa for their understanding at this time. The staff at the London Chest Hospital have been nothing short of exceptional and I would like to thank them all at this on-going critical time," said the statement.

"All BWFC fans who have contacted me personally or the club have been unbelievable. We aspire to be a family and all expressions of support are testimony to the reality of the family club we have at Bolton," according to the statement.

Fabrice Muamba, who was born in the Democratic Republic of Congo (formerly known as Zaire), had moved to England at the age of eleven as a refugee.