Fabrice Muamba has thanked fans for their support as the first picture of the Bolton midfielder since his on-field collapse against Tottenham appeared on his Twitter feed.
The picture, which shows Muamba smiling in his hospital bed, was posted on the 23-year-old’s behalf on his page on the social networking site.
The accompanying message read: “Fab wanted me to post this pic for you all and to also say thank you for such overwhelming support.”
The FA Cup quarter-final at White Hart Lane was abandoned by referee Howard Webb just before half-time after Muamba suddenly collapsed with no other player near him, having suffered a cardiac arrest.
He was carried off on a stretcher, wearing an oxygen mask, after six minutes of treatment and was then rushed to the London Chest Hospital in Bethnal Green, east London.
He was “effectively dead” for 78 minutes but has since made encouraging progress, responding to questions and breathing without a ventilator 48 hours after the incident.
Indeed, his recovery had been described as “miraculous” by Dr Andrew Deaner, the cardiologist who leapt from his seat among his fellow Tottenham fans to assist Muamba at the scene.
But he still has a long road to recovery ahead of him and Peter Weissberg, the medical director of the British Heart Foundation, cast doubt over the likelihood of the former England Under-21 international ever playing professionally again.
Bolton’s fans paid moving tributes to their stricken midfielder during Saturday’s Barclays Premier League derby against Blackburn and the rescheduled game against Spurs on Tuesday night.