Muamba set for emotional Reebok return

First published in Sport The Bolton News: Photograph of the Author by , sports writer

FABRICE Muamba could make an emotional return to the Reebok to watch tomorrow’s crucial match against Tottenham Hotspur, according to Owen Coyle.

The Wanderers boss confirmed that the 24-year-old midfielder, who suffered a cardiac arrest during Wanderers’ FA Cup tie at Spurs on March 17, could be in the crowd to cheer on his team-mates in their relegation battle.

He was released from hospital on April 16, and has astounded the medical experts with his recovery.

“If Fabrice and Shauna decide that he’s well enough and fit enough to come along to the game then it would be fantastic if that was able to come to fruition for a number of reasons,” said Coyle.

“It gives everybody an opportunity to see how well Fabrice is doing and how far he has come from what happened on that night.

“Equally, the fact that it’s Tottenham Hotspur as our opponents, will give Fabrice a chance to thank all the fans and players involved.”

Sadly, Muamba is still a long way from making a return to the pitch, but Coyle is sure that his presence in the stands will have an impact, especially to the atmosphere inside the Reebok.

“Our players are speaking to Fabrice and they are touching base, so they know he’s doing very well and they know he’s recovering at a great pace, which is the news we all craved and wanted.

“Yet his appearance in the Reebok, which is by no means guaranteed, would be a great opportunity to show to everyone else how well he is doing.”

With Muamba and Stuart Holden out for the season and Chung-Yong Lee still some way from a return, Wanderers continue to pick up injuries in midfield.

Reo-Coker limped out of Saturday’s 2-2 draw at Sunderland with a leg injury, while the club is monitoring Chris Eagles’ problem hamstring. Both are doubts for tomorrow’s match at home to Spurs, while Darren Pratley, who is struggling to shake off a virus, is almost certainly out.

“It’s along the lines of a type of glandular fever,” said Coyle. “That’s not what it is, but it’s a viral thing that’s got to run its course. He’s got little or no chance of being available for Tottenham. He’s still weak and his game is all based on energy.”

Gretar Steinsson is Bolton’s only other injury doubt .

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