The hospital treating Bolton midfielder Fabrice Muamba has confirmed the player can now recognise family members and respond to their questions.
Forty-eight hours after he collapsed during an FA Cup quarter-final tie against Tottenham at White Hart Lane, where he suffered a cardiac arrest, it is the clearest indication yet that Muamba is winning his battle for life.
“Fabrice Muamba remains in intensive care at the London Chest Hospital and is continuing to show signs of improvement this evening,” said the joint statement released by the London Chest Hospital and Bolton.
“He is now able to breathe independently, without the aid of a ventilator and he is able to recognise family members and respond to questions appropriately. These are positive signs of progress.
“However, his condition remains serious and our medical staff in intensive care will continue to monitor and treat him.
“His family and club would like to thank the media for continuing to respect their privacy at this time.”