With his heart stopping for more than an hour as paramedics fought for his life last March, it seemed an impossibility that Fabrice Muamba would rise again to walk, let alone kick a football.
Fantastically, that very development has taken place – the Bolton defender has played the game for the first time since that dark day at White Hart Lane and will next week receive a full medical assessment of whether he can play professionally again.
The revelation came yesterday after the ever-inflammatory Piers Morgan spilt the beans on a currently unaired interview he had held with Muamba.
The CNN host and pantomime villain of Twitter said on the social network yesterday:
“I played for 25 minutes and it felt great!” @fmuamba told me. Flying to Belgium docs next week to hear if he can play pro football again.”
Shedding more details on the momentous moment, Morgan also revealed that Muamba’s first return to kicking the ball in anger took place with two former under-21 teammates on holiday.
Morgan said how Muamba had “just told me he secretly played football again, in Dubai, with other players incl Jordan Henderson and Kieran Richardson.”
In the future there will no doubt be concern that Muamba may be endangering his seemingly resurrected health by attempting to play football at the top level again.
But for now, let’s celebrate this news for what it is: a huge milestone in one of the most incredible recoveries ever made by a sportsperson, a shining celebration of the doctors who saved his life and Muamba’s tenacious fight to win back what was so cruelly snatched from him.