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Fabrice 'laughing and joking' with visitors

FABRICE Muamba has been "laughing and joking with Bolton players," according to the latest reports on the condition of the midfielder who suffered a cardiac arrest at the weekend.

Reports on the 23-year-old's condition continue to improve but he remains in intensive care at the London Chest Hospital after collapsing on the pitch at White Hart Lane in an FA Cup match with Spurs on Saturday.

Bolton Wanderers manager Owen Coyle said he had spoken directly to Muamba, and labelled him a 'fighter'.

Coyle praised the treatment the former England U21 international had received but warned there was still a long way to go.

He said: "I have been in to see him myself, as has his family, and we have had a brief conversation, the contents of which are private.

"It's a great sign. I must stress we are very early in this process and there is still a long way to go but it is really positive.

"I want to go on record to thank everybody, especially the supporters of Bolton Wanderers and Tottenham Hotspur for their reaction.

"The hospital has been truly remarkable in the work that they have done."

A joint statement by Barts and the London NHS Trust and the club this morning 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.

"To ensure the smooth running of the hospital for all patients, as well as Fabrice's need to concentrate on his recovery, they would request that he receives no more visitors for the moment, outside of immediate family and members of Bolton Wanderers."