Fabrice Muamba is talking and even laughing as he shows further signs of recovery from a cardiac arrest, Tottenham Hotspur player Emmanuel Adebayor has suggested.
The Bolton Wanderers midfielder has been fighting for his life at the London Chest Hospital since he collapsed during his team’s FA Cup clash with Spurs on Saturday.
The 23-year-old’s heart did not start beating on its own for nearly two hours after he fell on the pitch.
Spurs striker Adebayor told Sky News the player was showing a major improvement in his condition after visiting him in hospital.
“He is much better, he recognises people and can talk (and) that’s the most important thing for me,” he said.
“We just have to keep praying for him. He is a strong guy and I think he’s been through a lot during these two days but he’s back to normal and he’s trying to talk normal and he’s acting normal, which is very important.”
Asked if Congo-born Muamba was laughing, Adebayor said: “All African people always have a smile on their face, so we are always laughing. It’s part of our life.”
It comes as Bolton Wanderers decide whether to postpone their match against Blackburn on Saturday.
Bolton Wanderers manager Owen Coyle also said he had spoken directly to his midfielder, whom he described as a “fighter”.
Coyle praised the treatment the former England under-21 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.”
Muamba has started to breathe independently, doctors have said. He has also been able to recognise family members and respond to questions.
According to The Sun, after coming round the footballer asked his father: “Did we win?”
When the player was confused about why the game had been abandoned, Marcel Muamba reportedly told him: “Because of you.
Manchester City manager Roberto Mancini on Tuesday called for medical screenings for Premier League players twice a year as he voiced concerns that not enough is being done to protect them