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Muamba was dead for 78 minutes, says doctor

Bolton's team doctor has revealed that Fabrice Muamba was technically dead for 78 minutes after his on-field cardiac arrest on Saturday.

The midfielder has since been revived and told the medic that he is "fine", though he remains in intensive care to recover, which is understood to be progressing well.

It was confirmed on Monday that the player has started to communicate with family and friends after collapsing towards the end of the first half in the Trotters' FA Cup quarter-final against Tottenham.

"It was 48 minutes when he collapsed to reaching hospital and a further 30 minutes after that. He was, in effect, dead at that time," Dr Jonathon Tobin told the press.

The 23-year-old's heart started beating again despite two defibrillator shocks on the pitch, one in the tunnel and 13 on the ambulance towards the London Chest Hospital, all of which were unsuccessful.

"I'm glad to say that the early signs of recovery have continued," Dr Tobin added.

"I went in and he said 'Hi, doc'. I asked him how he was and he said 'Fine'.

"I explained to him what had happened, that's the sort of level of communication I have had with Fabrice.

"We were fearing the worst and didn't think we'd get the recovery we had. It's incredible."