Aston Villa boss Alex McLeish has praised the resilience of Bolton midfielder Fabrice Muamba as he continues to show signs of improvement after a cardiac arrest.
The 23-year-old collapsed on the pitch at Tottenham during last Saturday's abandoned FA Cup quarter-final tie and was left fighting for his life.
Medical staff desperately tried to resuscitate him on the field before he was rushed to the nearby London Chest Hospital, where he has remained.
Muamba is still in the very early stages of his recovery but has shown positive signs so far to exceed the hopes and expectations of doctors.
McLeish, who worked with the midfielder during his time in charge of Birmingham, has been amazed by his progress.
He said: "It was a shock for that to happen. You just thought it wouldn't happen to a guy like him. You are talking about great resilience from a very strong, young athlete.
"And his recovery is fantastic. It's really encouraging to see him sitting up and speaking, which a few days ago people were saying wouldn't happen.
"Everyone was right behind him and maybe that power helped. It is fantastic news for the football community."
The manager added: "He was a fantastic athlete at Birmingham, always up and down the pitch the whole game.
"He was a thorough professional."