(AP Photo/Matt Dunham) Fabrice Muamba controls the ball beside Tottenham Hotspur skipper Scott Parker.
Bolton statement: Muamba breathing independently, responding to questions
In a joint statement with the hospital treating Muamba, the club said the player was also moving his arms and his legs.

Updated at 19.09

BOLTON WANDERERS HAVE released an update on Bolton midfielder Fabrice Muamba’s condition on their official website following the midfielder’s suddenly collapse against Tottenham on Saturday evening. It reads:

“Fabrice Muamba remains in intensive care at The London Chest Hospital. He is continuing to show signs of improvement this evening.

“He is now able to breathe independently without the aid of a ventilator. He has also been able to recognise family members and respond to questions appropriately.

“These are all positive signs of progress.However, the medical staff in intensive care will continue to monitor and treat him.

“His family and club would like to thank the media for continuing to respect their privacy at this time.”

Earlier, a friend of Muamba said the Bolton midfielder’s family reported he’d started speaking again, two days after going into cardiac arrest during a match.

Curtis Codrington told The Associated Press after talking to Muamba’s family Monday that his friend had spoken “minimal words in English and French, which is better than nothing.”

Codrington has been visiting Muamba in intensive care since the player collapsed during Saturday’s match at Tottenham.

Earlier, the hospital said Muamba had begun to show “small signs of improvement.” His heart started beating without the help of medication Monday and his arms and legs were moving. But the statement emphasised that he remained in critical condition.

In a joint statement with the hospital treating Muamba, the club said today he was also moving his arms and his legs.

But the statement cautions that “his long-term prognosis will remain unclear for some time. He is still critically ill.”

The midfielder suffered a cardiac arrest during an FA Cup match at Tottenham on Saturday. The 23-year-old’s heart started beating on its own again only when he arrived at a London hospital’s heart attack unit Saturday night.

The player’s fiancee has been issuing pleas on Twitter for the health of Muamba, who proposed on Valentine’s Day. The couple has a 3-year-old son, Joshua.

Bolton manager Owen Coyle said the former England under-21 player is putting up a “brave fight,” adding that the club had been inundated with messages of support, including from David Beckham.

“There is a real hope he can come through this. When situations like this occur there is a real strength, a real unity, a real togetherness … that has given (the family) an incredible energy,” Coyle said outside the east London hospital. “That source of energy that everyone is giving off is really bringing them together as a family and that is important for Fabrice’s well being.”

- Rob Harris, AP

Additional reporting: Paul Fennessy

Fabrice Muamba ‘stable but critically ill’ in hospital

Associated Foreign Press
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