English Premiership

Bolton get back to business

2012-03-21 22:13
Owen Coyle (File)

Bolton - Bolton Wanderers have confirmed their Premier League match against local rivals Blackburn Rovers will go ahead as scheduled on Saturday, as midfielder Fabrice Muamba recovers in hospital.

Muamba collapsed with a cardiac arrest during Bolton's FA Cup tie against Tottenham at White Hart Lane last Saturday.

The match was abandoned and Wanderers subsequently postponed their scheduled league fixture against Aston Villa on Tuesday.

But with the 23-year-old making encouraging progress - he is now breathing independently and has spoken to visitors at his hospital bed - Bolton have decided the time is right to resume playing football again.

The FA Cup quarter-final against Tottenham will also take place, with a date and kick-off time to be confirmed by the Football Association.

"We spoke together with the players this (Wednesday) morning and I talked with Fabrice's family last (Tuesday) night," Bolton manager Owen Coyle told the club's official website.

"Fabrice's father Marcel and fiancee Shauna were keen that we fulfil our fixture," Coyle, who has spent several days at Muamba's hospital bedside, said.

"Once the players knew this, there was no doubt in our minds that we would play the matches."

Meanwhile Bolton team doctor Jonathan Tobin, who visited Muamba in hospital on Tuesday, said the player told him he felt "fine".

"I'm glad to say that the early signs of recovery have continued," 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'."

Tobin added Muamba had asked him what had happened to him.

"I explained to him what had happened," Tobin said. "That's the sort of level of communication I have had with Fabrice."

Bolton are just a point above the relegation zone while Blackburn moved six points clear of the bottom three with a 2-0 win over Sunderland on Tuesday.

The plight of Muamba has sparked a worldwide outpouring of support for the former England Under-21 international, who was born in what is now the Democratic Republic of Congo but came to Britain at the age of 11.


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