London: Fabrice Muamba`s father and fiancée have revealed the Bolton midfielder is making "great progress" after his cardiac arrest but still faces a long road to recovery.
Muamba remains in intensive care at the London Chest Hospital nearly a week after his harrowing ordeal began when he collapsed during the first half of the FA Cup quarter-final against Tottenham at White Hart Lane.
The 23-year-old`s heart stopped for nearly 80 minutes as medics battled to save Muamba`s life, but he has made a miraculous recovery so far and has been able to talk to friends and family over the last two days.
Muamba`s experience has touched the football world, with a host of stars including former Arsenal striker Thierry Henry and Chelsea midfielder Michael Essien, as well as many of his Bolton team-mates, visiting the Kinshasa-born player in hospital. His father, Marcel Muamba, and fiancee, Shauna Magunda, on Friday issued a statement giving a positive update on Muamba`s progress, saying "God had answered their prayers", although they are aware he still has a long way to go to be completely recovered.
They also praised Bolton and Tottenham`s medical teams for their quick reaction and thanked the team caring for him at the hospital. "We would like to firstly thank God for answering our prayers," the statement read.
"Thank you to everyone for the love, prayers and support over the past few days. In particular we owe an enormous gratitude to the Bolton and Spurs medical teams for their quick reaction on Saturday, and the fantastic team here at The London Chest Hospital.
"We have been overwhelmed by all the kind messages we have received. The support we have had from the fans, not just from Bolton, but football supporters around the world, has given us so much strength. "We have been particularly touched by the support from the football community globally.
"Thanks also to our family and close friends and thank you to the media for respecting our privacy during this very difficult time.
"Even though Fabrice has made great progress over the last couple of days, he is still in intensive care, and still has a long period of recovery ahead. "He has asked that you please keep him in your prayers." (AFP)