BOLTON Wanderers midfielder Fabrice Muamba has revealed he could only walk five paces after regaining consciousness following his shock cardiac arrest.
The Premier League star's heart stopped beating naturally for 78 minutes after he collapsed in a heap during Bolton's FA Cup quarter-final at Tottenham Hotspur on March 17.
He was unconscious for three days despite feeling "particularly fit" before the incident, and awoke to find he could only manage a handful of paces when he was helped to his feet.
He told The Sun: "I couldn't believe how wrecked I felt.
"I only managed about five paces from my bed, but felt like I'd just run the London marathon.
"It was a shock feeling like that because I've trained hard all my adult life and like to think I'm in very good shape."
The devout Christian, 24, stunned doctors after making a miraculous recovery and was fit enough to walk out of hospital just a month after the ordeal. However, it is not known if he will play professional football again.
Reliving his first steps, he added: "Once I was on my feet for the first time I felt like a toddler again - like my three-year-old son Joshua. I could barely put one foot in front of the other and had to be carried back to my bed - but it was a start."
Muamba was discharged from the the London Chest Hospital last Monday - almost a month to the day after he suffered the cardiac arrest.
He has been building his fitness by taking short walks with his fiancee Shauna Magunday.
"A few months ago I would think nothing of running miles, but now I'm tired after a 20-minute walk around the block," he said.
"But now I'm making progress. It's too early to say whether I'll play football professionally again but I have great faith in God and I have hope, so who knows? If I can come back from the dead then perhaps I can achieve anything."