Fabrice Muamba won't likely be back on the pitch for Bolton Wanderers (or any other club) any time soon, though he does appear to be on the road to recovery, however slow and tedious a journey it may be.
According to The Associated Press, the 23-year-old midfielder has started to breathe on his own again and was able to recognize his own family members on Monday, two days after collapsing into cardiac arrest during the Trotters' FA Cup tie with Tottenham Hotspur at White Hart Lane. The clubs may reschedule the match for next week.
Bolton will also have to find time to play its away match at Aston Villa after canceling Tuesday's tie.
Muamba's improving condition has lent many cause for optimism, including Bolton boss Owen Coyle, who said of the Congo-born player:
"There is a real hope he can come through this. When situations like this occur there is a real strength, a real unity, a real togetherness ... that has given (the family) an incredible energy. That source of energy that everyone is giving off is really bringing them together as a family and that is important for Fabrice's well being.''
Among the many silver linings to emerge from Muamba's unfortunate turn is an increased mindfulness of cardiac health among players throughout the football world, particularly in the English Premier League. After witnessing Muamba's fall first hand, just about all of Spurs have demanded full cardiac screenings.
As should every other player who takes to the pitch in England, if not around the world. If there's any lesson to be learned from Muamba's misfortune, it's that everyone (athletes in peak fitness included) can be susceptible to cardiac illness. More information on the health of one's heart can only help to prevent shocking moments like this from occurring in the future and ensuring the safety of everyone that football fans take for granted but whose physical well-being they hardly (if ever) take into consideration.
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