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Fabrice Muamba: I've started playing football again

updated 11:48 PM EDT, Thu August 2, 2012
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Fabrice Muamba has played football for first time since his cardiac arrest
  • Muamba collapsed on the pitch in an FA Cup quarterfinal in March
  • Bolton midfielder says he took part in an impromptu match in Dubai
  • He hopes to make return to professional game

(CNN) -- Fabrice Muamba has taken to the football pitch for the first time since his dramatic on field collapse, he told CNN Thursday.

Muamba was playing for English Premier League team Bolton when he suffered a cardiac arrest during an FA Cup tie against Tottenham Hotspur on March 17.

Television viewers and the players looked on in horror as medical staff battled to revive the 24-year-old midfielder.

He was taken to the London Chest Hospital and it was later revealed his heart had stopped beating for 78 minutes.

Piers Morgan meets Muamba
Muamba recovering after heart stopped
Muamba 'In effect dead for 78 minutes'
Doctors have described Fabrice Muamba's progress since his cardiac arrest during a match on Saturday as "miraculous." The Bolton star's heart stopped beating for 78 minutes after his collapse but now he is talking and joking with visitors.
Doctors have described Fabrice Muamba's progress since his cardiac arrest during a match on Saturday as "miraculous." The Bolton star's heart stopped beating for 78 minutes after his collapse but now he is talking and joking with visitors.
'Miraculous' Muamba
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Tributes to Fabrice Muamba Tributes to Fabrice Muamba

Muamba spent a month in hospital but has since made a remarkable recovery.

He was continuing his recuperation in Dubai in May with his fiancee Shauna Magunda when he took the spur of the moment decision to join in a game between staff at his hotel and other guests.

"I am sorry but I am going to play football," he told her. "It was just like I was training. It was great, I enjoyed it."

Muamba said the game lasted about half an hour, but told CNN that he has never tweeted the photos of him playing.

Muamba is taking specialist medical advice ahead of what he hopes to be a return to the rigors of the professional game.

"I just hope to God that I can get in there myself, with 11 players on the pitch and to play would be fantastic," he added.

Muamba made an emotional return to watch an English Premier League match at Bolton's Reebok Stadium against Tottenham on May 3.

He was given a standing ovation as he waved to fans in the center of the pitch.

Muamba, who was born in the Democratic Republic of Congo, has played for the England under-21 team as well as making 167 appearances for Birmingham and Bolton in the EPL.

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