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Posted at 03:37 PM ET, 03/19/2012

Fabrice Muamba improving, his heart beating without medication

Fabrice Muamba was resuscitated during Bolton’s match Saturday. (Matt Dunham / Associated Press)

Fabrice Muamba, the Bolton midfielder who suffered cardiac arrest on the pitch during a match Saturday, is showing signs of improvement.

Although he remains in critical condition in London Chest Hospital’s intensive care unit, Muamba’s heart is beating without medication and he is moving his arms and legs, the team said in a statement. Although a friend of Muamba’s said the family had indicated he was speaking “minimal words in English and French,” the hospital and team emphasized that the long-term prognosis for Muamba, 23, remains uncertain.

Fabrice Muamba (center) during Saturday’s match. (Matt Dunham / Associated Press)
The club said he is “able to breathe independently without the aid of a ventilator” and “has also been able to recognize family members and respond to questions appropriately.”

“He is showing small signs of improvement,” a joint statement from Bolton and the hospital said. “His heart is now beating without the help of medication and he is also moving his arms and his legs.

“However, his long-term prognosis will remain unclear for some time. He is still critically ill and will continue to be closely monitored and treated by staff in the London Chest Hospital’s intensive care unit.”

Muamba’s fiancee, Shauna, tweeted: ““Fabrice WILL!! Pull through because God is good. Love u so much fmuamba keep strong we’re praying for u honey ... where there is life there is hope.”

Bolton Manager Owen Coyle cited Muamba’s escape from war-torn Congo in 1999 as evidence of his will. “When you look what he has come through in his life already he is a natural fighter. He is a physically fit young man,” Coyle said. “If those things can help at all, it will be a source of help and encouragement.”

By  |  03:37 PM ET, 03/19/2012

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