Owen Coyle would not be surprised to see Fabrice Muamba back in a Bolton shirt at some stage, but has warned that he still faces a long road to recovery.
The 24-year-old, who suffered a cardiac arrest during the abandoned FA Cup tie at Tottenham on 17th March, was released from hospital on Monday and is now spending time with his family and friends.
He has come a long way already and is said to be in high spirits, with Coyle revealing he had spoken with the former England U21 international since he returned to the North West.
He said: "I'd come in from training and Shauna (his fiancée) sent me a message: 'There's somebody who'd like to speak to you.' And when I spoke to him, you can always tell from the sound of somebody's voice and he sounded in a good place.
"It was great to hear from him and he sounded terrific. Of course, that's a huge boost given where he's come from. We've all seen the sad events in Italy."
Coyle is confident Muamba will push on from this point and return to professional football in the future, but has made it clear that there is no rush to get to that stage.
The tragic passing of Livorno midfielder Piermario Morosini after he suffered a heart attack on the pitch last weekend has put Muamba's recovery into perspective.
It has been suggested by one expert that he could be back playing inside six months, but Coyle is reluctant to put a timescale on a possible return to action.
The Scot said: "I understand, because of the interest, that everybody thinks he's released from hospital so that's it, he's singing and dancing down the street, but people have got to understand there's room for continued improvement.
"But knowing Fabrice and how much of a battler he is, it wouldn't surprise me if he comes back. But I've got to stress he still needs that time with his family unit.
"His little lad hadn't been able to see him for a period so it's important we give them that time to be together.
"God willing, if he ever comes back to play at the level he's played before then, of course, that will be a huge boost to everybody."