Fabrice Muamba out of bed, eating

Updated: March 26, 2012, 9:08 AM ET
ESPN.com news services

LONDON -- Bolton midfielder Fabrice Muamba has started to eat again and gotten out of bed, making "encouraging progress" in his recovery from cardiac arrest during a game.

A joint statement from Bolton and the London Chest Hospital on Monday says Muamba remains in intensive care in serious but stable condition.

The statement says the 23-year-old player was able to "sit out of bed for a short time, watch television and has begun to eat" over the weekend.

Muamba's heart stopped beating on its own for 78 minutes after he collapsed during an FA Cup quarterfinal against Tottenham on March 17.

Meanwhile, FIFA's chief medical officer says soccer's top governing body will be studying cardiac arrest cases involving soccer players. The project will be advanced at FIFA's medical conference on May 23-24 in Budapest, Hungary.

Jiri Dvorak tells The Associated Press all national team doctors have been invited. The hope is to establish a worldwide database for cases of sudden cardiac arrest. Dvorak says the research will lead to "analysis of the risk factors."

FIFA also helped complete a recent study in Gabon of electrocardiogram testing in African players. Muamba was born in Zaire.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.