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'My heart just squeezed in my chest' - Demba Ba happy as Ajax's Nouri wakes from coma

1:00 PM GMT+4 27/03/2020
NxGn 2016 Abdelhak Nouri
The 22-year-old is now able to sit up and watch football after spending two years and nine months in a medically induced coma

Istanbul Basaksehir forward Demba Ba is full of joy after hearing of the recovery of Ajax's Abdelhak Nouri from a coma, and he described it as the "best news of 2020" so far.

Back in July 2017, Nouri collapsed on the pitch during a friendly match between Ajax and Werder Bremen, and he was later diagnosed with a cardiac arrhythmia attack.

The 22-year-old, who is of Moroccan descent, was said to have suffered serious and permanent brain damage after the collapse, but according to the latest update from his family on Thursday, he is now showing his emotions, watching football even though he is still in the bed.

"He is aware of where he is, he is back in a familiar environment with his family. He’s no longer in a coma. He’s just awake,” his brother, Abderrahim told Dutch TV show De Wereld Draait Door.

"He sleeps, he sneezes, he eats, he burps, but it’s not like he gets out of bed. He’s very bedridden and still very dependent on us."

In reaction to the update, Ba said Nouri's recovery gave him instant joy despite their unfamiliarity.

“Ya Allah. As I get ready for bed I see the news about Abdelhak Nouri. My heart just squeezed in my chest. I don't know him at all but this news has brought me instant joy. Best news of 2020,” Ba tweeted.

Nouri's news comes as a relief to the world amid the coronavirus pandemic that has brought the global economy and football competitions to a standstill.

Prior to the suspension of the Turkish Super Lig due to Covid-19, Ba was the highest scoring player at Istanbul Basaksehir this season, with 10 goals in 22 games for Okan Buruk's side who sit second on the league table.