| 17.9°C Dublin

Improving Muamba facing long road to recovery

CONSULTANT cardiologist Dr Sam Mohiddin has warned people not to expect Fabrice Muamba to make a rapid recovery.

Dr Mohiddin admitted the Bolton midfielder's progress had been extraordinary since he suffered a cardiac arrest at Tottenham on Saturday evening that meant he effectively died for 78 minutes after his heart stopped beating.

Muamba's recovery has left Bolton sufficiently uplifted to confirm Saturday's Premier League encounter with Blackburn at the Reebok Stadium will go ahead, as will the rescheduled FA Cup quarter-final with Spurs next Tuesday.

However, it may be some time before Muamba completes a return to full health.

"Fabrice has continued to demonstrate positive signs of recovery and he has not only exceeded our expectations but also our hopes in the way he's recovered," said Dr Mohiddin, who has been in charge of Muamba's care since his admission to the London Chest Hospital.

"But this remains very early in what could be a lengthy recovery period."

The 23-year-old was visited by former Arsenal team-mate Thierry Henry yesterday, the latest football superstar to express his concern.


Bolton team doctor Jonathan Tobin confirmed the player had received treatment for 30 minutes before his heart showed signs of activity.

"In effect, he was dead in that time," Dr Tobin said. "Fabrice was in a type of cardiac arrest where the heart is showing lots of electrical activity but no muscular activity. It's something that often responds to drugs and shocks.

"Now, heaven knows why, but Fabrice had, in total, 15 shocks. He had a further 12 shocks in the ambulance."

After arriving at the hospital, Dr Tobin broke down.

"I can't begin to explain the pressure that was there," he added.

"This is somebody that I know, I know his family. This is somebody I consider a friend. This is somebody I joke with on a daily basis.

"As I was running onto the pitch, I was thinking, 'Oh my God, it's Fabrice'."