The family of Bolton midfielder Fabrice Muamba have warned that he is facing a long period of recovery after suffering a cardiac arrest during last weekend's FA Cup quarter-final against Tottenham Hotspur.
''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,'' Muamba's fiancee Shauna Magunda and his father Marcel said in a statement on Friday.
''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,'' they added.
To show support for the 23-year-old, Bolton fans will hold up cards to create a mosaic spelling out 'Muamba 6' before Saturday's home Premier League match against Blackburn Rovers, the club website (www.bwfc.co.uk) said.
Muamba collapsed on the pitch at White Hart Lane just before halftime.
Tottenham's club doctor Jonathan Tobin said 15 defibrillator shocks in the hour after he collapsed had failed to get Muamba's heart beating and he was ''in effect dead'' for 78 minutes.
The tie was abandoned at 1-1 and is due to be replayed on Tuesday.
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