Bolton manager Coyle has 'brief chat' with recovering Muamba

Story highlights

  • Bolton manager Owen Coyle says he has had a brief chat with Fabrice Muamba
  • Coyle keen to stress it is still early in midfielder's recovery from cardiac arrest
  • Hospital say Muamba had a comfortable night on Monday as recovery continues
  • Premier League vow to review medical procedures after Muamba's collapse

Bolton Wanderers manager Owen Coyle revealed Tuesday he had held a "brief conversation" with stricken Fabrice Muamba after the soccer star suffered a cardiac arrest during a match on Saturday.

The 23-year-old collapsed on the pitch during a clash with Tottenham Hotspur in the English FA Cup and was rushed to the London Chest Hospital after a prolonged period of treatment on the turf.

Muamba's condition improved on Monday when it was confirmed he was breathing without a ventilator and able to respond to questions appropriately.

And Coyle, who has visited his player several times a day, reported that he had been able to converse with Muamba.

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"I've been into see him myself, as have his close family members, and had a conversation, a few words exchanged, that will remain private, which is a great sign," he told reporters.

"But I must stress it's still very early in the process, the doctors have stressed that point. Fabrice still has a long way to go but it is encouraging signs.

"I've spoken to Shauna his partner and his dad Marcel about it and where we all were on Saturday night certainly at this stage I would never have expected the improvement that's come.

"I have to mention the support he has had from countries all over the world. The qualities he has as a man, football pales into insignificance but he is an outstanding young individual and we pray he gets back to that level again."

Even though the treatment given to Muamba at Tottenham's White Hart Lane ground is widely credited with helping to save his life, the English Premier League said they are to review medical procedures in the wake of the 23-year-old's collapse.

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Chairman Richard Scudamore told a sports industry event that an incident involving goalkeeper Petr Cech in 2006, which saw the Czech Republic international fracture his skull, had been a wake up call for the football authorities.

Chelsea made an official complaint to the Premier League that there was no ambulance on hand to transfer Cech to hospital in the wake of his serious injury.

In quotes carried by AFP Scudamore said: "Incidents and events shape policy, shape developments, shape progress. There are no guarantees but we will do whatever we can to improve.

"What we will certainly be doing is looking at every aspect of what happened and if there are ways and means of improving, if there are ways and means of making it better in the future - just like we did in 2006-07 following the Petr Cech incident.

"We will do everything we can to make sure we reduce to the point of elimination, if we possibly can, things like that."

Coyle again paid tribute to the medical teams that treated Muamba at the ground and the staff at the hospital, saying the player's family wanted to stress how touched they were by the worldwide support he had received.

Muamba grew up in the Democratic Republic of Congo. He came to England as an 11-year-old when his family fled civil war in the country.

When asked if Muamba could make a full recovery Coyle replied: "That's something [doctors] have said has happened before but every case is individual.

Fears for stricken soccer player Muamba's recovery

"But we've said before the two things Fabrice has that can help is that he is such a fit young man and the life he's had he's had to fight every step of the way along his young journey. Those things will stand him in good stead."

He said Bolton's players, most of whom had visited Muamba since Saturday evening, could be back in training on Wednesday.

Tottenham manager Harry Redknapp said on Tuesday he feared the worst for Muamba when he collapsed, especially as he had previously coached the late Mark Vivien-Foe, who died of a heart attack while playing for Cameroon in 2003.

"I signed Mark, I brought him to England, he played at West Ham for me. He was a fantastic boy. When you saw [doctors] pumping [Muamba's] chest you feared for the worst but the medical assistance was amazing," he told a press conference.

"It's affected everybody who saw it. It was an unbelievable incident, we've never seen anything like that before.

"The last few days, you can't get the lad out of your mind, what happened. But the news is positive so we keep our fingers crossed.

"One or two people came down from the crowd, a top cardiologist came down and helped as well so he couldn't have had better support."

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