Too early to tell cause of Muamba arrest

The doctor treating Bolton Wanderers midfielder Fabrice Muamba has admitted it is "far too early" to say what caused his cardiac arrest.

Muamba collapsed at White Hart Lane during Bolton’s FA Cup tie with Tottenham Hotspur and remains in intensive care after his heart stopped for 78 minutes leaving him ‘in effect dead’.

The 23-year-old is said to be recovering well in the London Chest Hospital having been admitted following the harrowing incident.

Cardiologist Dr Sam Mohiddin claims the most important thing for Muamba now was neurological recovery and said the next course of action may be a special "defibrillator" pacemaker implanted into the combative midfielder.

"Almost everybody who comes into us with a cardiac arrest, who has been successfully resuscitated, would be considered for a defibrillator because they're life-saving devices," Dr Mohiddin told BBC Sport.

"What has happened may happen again and, therefore, if there's any risk you want a safety net."

Many have suggested that, with Muamba's heart stopping for so long, the former Arsenal trainee may be forced to retire from football.

However, Dr Mohiddin insists the reports are pre-mature, adding: "I don't think we can even begin to discuss that as it's a question that requires all sorts of unknowns in its answering."

Muamba’s doctor continued by praising the paramedics who rushed to the pitch to resuscitate the midfielder, and while he is unable to discuss each individual case, he admits they were "fundamental to his recovery".

"We believe there are certain conditions that predispose an increased risk of cardiac arrhythmias [irregular heartbeats]," he said.

"Because competitive athletes are stressing their heart in a way that most of us don't, they are probably at higher risk of sudden death."