Bolton to resume playing as Muamba recovers

ROB HARRIS AP Sports Writer Published:

LONDON (AP) -- Bolton will return to action in the English Premier League on Saturday, a week after midfielder Fabrice Muamba's mid-game cardiac arrest left him on the brink of death before a recovery that stunned medics.

The game at Aston Villa on Tuesday was postponed amid concern for Muamba's health, but the player's fightback led to the squad deciding to go ahead with Saturday's league match against Blackburn. Bolton will also return to Tottenham on Tuesday and replay the abandoned FA Cup quarterfinal.

"We spoke together with the players as a group this morning and I talked with Fabrice's family last night," Bolton manager Owen Coyle said on Wednesday. "Fabrice's father Marcel and his fiancee Shauna were keen that we fulfill our fixtures. Once the players knew this, there was no doubt in our minds that we would play the matches."

It will be an emotional return on Tuesday night to White Hart Lane, where Muamba suddenly fell to the ground on Saturday just before halftime and attempts were made to revive him in front of more than 30,000 fans and a global television audience.

Bolton team doctor Jonathan Tobin revealed on Wednesday that medics tried unsuccessfully to revive Muamba for 48 minutes before he arrived at the London Chest Hospital. It then took another 30 minutes before the 23-year-old Muamba's heart started beating again, having received 15 shocks.

"In effect, he was dead in that time," Dr. Tobin said.

Dr. Andrew Deaner, a Tottenham-supporting cardiologist, leapt from his seat in the crowd on Saturday and rushed on to the pitch to help Muamba.

"If you're going to use the term miraculous, I guess it could be used here," he said.

It took until Monday for the former England Under-21 international to start breathing independently again and communicating in intensive care.

Dr. Tobin said Muamba has asked him what happened when he collapsed, an incident that prompted an outpouring of concern throughout world football.

"I'm glad to say that the early signs of recovery have continued," Dr. Tobin said. "I went to see Fabrice last night. I went in and he said 'Hi, doc.' I asked him how he was and he said 'Fine.'"

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Rob Harris can be reached at www.twitter.com/RobHarrisUK