Muamba confirms he is 'far away' from Bolton return

The 24-year-old is on the road to recovery but, while he hopes to be back playing soon, he concedes he is still a long way away from a return to the football pitch

Bolton midfielder Fabrice Muamba has admitted that he still has a long way to go before he can return to playing football again.

The former Arsenal man suffered a cardiac arrest during the club's FA Cup tie against Tottenham back in March, with doctors claiming that his heart stopped for 78 minutes before managing to revive him.

Muamba received support from all around the football world for his amazing recovery and is now amidst a rehabilitation programme, but the 24-year-old believes it will take some time before he is 100 per cent fit.

After receiving an honorary doctorate from Bolton University, he said: "I'm getting stronger every day. [However] I'm far away from being back on the football pitch."

The likes of Thierry Henry and Ashley Cole, who played with Muamba, rushed to his bedside along with his wife and son.

But the speed and nature of Muamba's recovery stunned many doctors and football pundits, and the midfielder has conceded he is grateful to have survived.

He added: "I really, really hope, by the grace of God, that I'll be back on the pitch but I'm just grateful to the university for this doctorate and I receive it on behalf of everybody who helped me to survive the cardiac arrest."

Muamba started his career at Arsenal after moving from the Democratic Republic of Congo and joined their academy as a young child, before moving to Birmingham in 2007 and finally joining the Trotters a year later for £5 million.