Bolton Wanderers’ Fabrice Muamba has been able to recognise family members and respond to questions appropriately after suffering a cardiac arrest during an FA Cup quarter-final.
But although the 23-year-old midfielder is continuing to show signs of improvement but his condition remains serious in intensive care, the London Chest Hospital said in a statement.
“He is currently able to breathe independently without the aid of a ventilator,” the statement continued.
Earlier, the hospital said Muamba’s heart was beating without the help of medication and he was moving his arms and his legs but his long-term prognosis remained unclear.
Muamba collapsed on the pitch at Tottenham Hotspur where he was given CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation) before being taken to hospital.
Fifa President Sepp Blatter was among those to offer support for the England Under-21 international with a letter to Bolton chairman Phil Gartside.
“On behalf of the worldwide football family, I would like to express my shock and distress on hearing about the cardiac arrest suffered by Fabrice Muamba during Saturday’s FA Cup tie and wish him strength as he continues to fight to recover from this critical condition,” Blatter wrote.
“Moments like these show us what is truly important in life and also illustrate the great solidarity that exists between football fans in times of trouble.”
Bolton captain Kevin Davies told Bolton’s website the players had been overwhelmed by the reaction following Muamba’s collapse.
“We all owe a big thank you to everyone that was on the scene; the paramedics and medical staff from both our club and Tottenham Hotspur. I’ve been at the hospital with the chairman and the manager, and we’re all thankful for the amazing help and support everyone has shown for Fabrice,” Davies said.
“Fab is not only one of our colleagues and a workmate but he’s a friend, father and son - he’s one of life’s good guys.
“I think I was in the same position as everyone else. We were following the play and suddenly someone said ‘Fabrice has gone down’. Then it all unfolded from there really. It became very serious within a matter of seconds,” added the Bolton striker.
“I think it was the first time in my 19 years as a professional that I’ve seen a football stadium unite. It was touching.”