Fabrice Muamba Back On His Feet For Birthday

Footballer Fabrice Muamba has started to walk for the first time since he suffered a cardiac arrest during an FA Cup match.

As Muamba celebrates his 24th birthday, doctors say he is continuing to make progress.

According to his club, Bolton Wanderers , the player remains "serious but stable" in intensive care but he has performed some movement and done some walking.

Bolton manager Owen Coyle said: "He has done some short periods of walking down the corridor he is in as part of the unit, staying in intensive care.

"He is taking steps, talking and has that big smile which we love to see, so he is certainly progressing the right way."

He added: "A couple of players have been sending him messages and we are keeping in touch. It has been great to see that smile and he continues to get better.

"We have to stress that he still has a long way to go but the improvement has been remarkable and long may that continue."

A spokesman for the club added: "Everyone is delighted with the progress he is making."

There are no specific plans for Muamba's birthday since the club wants to give the player and his family the time and space to allow his recovery.

The footballer's heart stopped for 78 minutes after he suffered a cardiac arrest during Bolton's FA Cup quarter final against Tottenham Hotspur last month.

The club's chairman Phil Gartside, who spent much of the first week at the London Chest Hospital after Muamba collapsed, has returned to visit the player.

He was accompanied by the club doctor Jonathan Tobin, one of the medical team who had described Muamba as "in effect dead" following his sudden collapse.

Bolton's club chaplain Phil Mason was also visiting the player. Meanwhile Muamba's teammates are preparing for a home game against Fulham on Saturday.

Hospital bosses and Bolton Wanderers said in a joint statement: "Fabrice Muamba continues to make strong and steady improvements and remains in the intensive care unit of the London Chest Hospital."