Muamba talks just 48 hours after collapse

Bolton player moves arms and legs in recovery from cardiac arrest but condition remains critical

BOLTON midfielder Fabrice Muamba last night showed the first signs of winning his miraculous fight for life, managing to speak to visitors just 48 hours after his on-field cardiac arrest on Saturday.

The Premier League club said Muamba, 23, had regained the ability to move his arms and legs and that his heart was beating without the influence of medication.

Doctors at the London Chest Hospital, where the former Arsenal trainee is being treated, added that he had started to breathe without a ventilator and had responded to questions from family and friends.

However, they emphasised that the former England Under-21 international remained in intensive care and that his condition would be monitored closely as his tentative recovery continued.

“Fabrice Muamba remains in intensive care at The London Chest Hospital. He is continuing to show signs of improvement this evening,” read a statement from Barts and the London NHS Trust.

“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. These are all positive signs of progress. However, his condition remains serious and our medical staff in intensive care will continue to monitor and treat him.”

Bolton’s scheduled league game with Aston Villa tonight has been postponed following Muamba’s collapse during the FA Cup quarter-final against Tottenham on Saturday.

The club said: “Fabrice Muamba remains in intensive care at The London Chest Hospital, where today he is showing small signs of improvement. His heart is now beating without the help of medication and he is also moving his arms and his legs.

“However, his long-term prognosis will remain unclear for some time. He is still critically ill and will continue to be closely monitored and treated by staff in the London Chest Hospital’s intensive care unit.”

Bolton manager Owen Coyle (inset) paid tribute to the widespread messages of support for Muamba, both from within English football and beyond.

He said: “Everybody is praying for Fabrice, which is very important and that has been a real source of strength to the family.”

Bolton striker Kevin Davies said that concerns over the FA Cup tie with Spurs, and whether the club should withdraw from the competition altogether, were “irrelevant”.