Peter Weissberg is the medical director for the British Heart Foundation and is of the belief that no one would advise the former England Under-21 international to return to action
After he suffered a cardiac arrest during Bolton’s FA Cup tie with Tottenham earlier in March, it is unlikely that Fabrice Muamba will ever play football again, according to a leading heart specialist.
The medical director of the British Heart Foundation, Peter Weissberg, has admitted that would be very unusual for someone to advise the former England Under-21 international to continue his profession.
Weissberg understands that although the decision to play again is not a simple matter, Muamba’s situation is often caused by a cardiac arrest tendency and physical exertion, therefore it would be unwise to take to the field again.
Speaking to Press Association, Weissberg said: "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."
"I'm impressed [with medical 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."
Underlying heart problems for footballers have become a more commonly reported problem in recent years, with players such as Ruben de la Red and Sergio Sanchez having to take breaks from the sport, while Marc Vivien Foe, Antonio Puerta and Dani Jarque all died due to heart conditions, but Weissberg sees no definitive way of improving screenings.
He continued: "It will happen from time to time and the reason for that is, as doctors, we cannot 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."
“With people like Fabrice we can put in a defibrillator inside the body," he added.
"But I repeat, I think it is unlikely he would be advised to play football again even though he may be fit and healthy to do so."