Muamba return is unlikely - specialist

Fabrice Muamba

Fabrice Muamba

First published in National Sport News © by

A leading heart specialist has cast doubts on whether Bolton midfielder Fabrice Muamba will ever play professional football again.

Peter Weissberg, the Medical Director of the British Heart Foundation, believes Muamba's sudden collapse during the FA Cup quarter-final against Tottenham at White Hart Lane earlier in the month means he can never truly be cleared to compete in the future.

He told Press Association Sport: "It is not possible to say but I think it is likely he would be advised not to play again because most conditions like this are a combination of physical activity and an underlying tendency to have a cardiac arrest."

With 41 minutes of the game played, 23-year-old Muamba suddenly collapsed to the floor and lay with his face down on the turf. It was later confirmed he had suffered a heart attack.

Bolton's team doctor Jonathan Tobin confirmed Muamba's heart stopped for 80 minutes and Weissberg praised the fast-acting medics present at the time.

"I'm impressed (with the response) but you would expect that at a Premier League football ground," he said.

"(It was) a fantastic example of a well-trained team recognising first of all what was wrong and then moving into action and doing something very, very quickly about it."

Since the incident there have been calls from many quarters of the game to enhance player screenings in an attempt to eradicate such issues arising, something Weissberg believes is almost impossible.

He said: "It will happen from time to time and the reason for that is, as doctors, we can not yet predict with total accuracy those players who might have an underlying heart problem.

"I'm afraid the technology is not good enough yet to identify the really, really subtle heart conditions which just aren't apparent until someone keels over."

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