London, Mar 20 (ANI): Bolton footballer Fabrice Muamba gave the first signs of recovery on Monday night as he now can breathe independently without a ventilator and has been able to recognise his family members and respond to questions appropriately.
Although Muamba remains in intensive care, the medical team treating him at the London Chest Hospital has sounded a note of cautious optimism.
It added his condition was no longer critical, but he still remained serious, The BBC reports.
These reports followed a succession of improvements in Muamba's condition after the footballer had spent two days in medically induced coma in an effort to reduce swelling around his brain.
Chelsea midfielder Michael Essien, who visited the hospital on Monday night, said Muamba had spoken in both French and English to him.
The former England Under-21 player has been in the hospital's heart attack centre after suffering a cardiac arrest during Saturday's FA Cup quarterfinal against Tottenham.
Club chairman Phil Gartside and manager Owen Coyle visited the player on Monday.
In a statement placed on the club website, Gartside said: "The staff at the London Chest Hospital have been nothing short of exceptional and I would like to thank them all at this ongoing critical time.
"The support we had from Tottenham and our own fans was fantastic - the staff, the fans, the players and the officials at the game - it was unbelievable." (ANI)
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