Fabrice Muamba: Bolton braced for difficult return, says Owen Coyle

Bolton boss Owen Coyle admits some of his players may struggle to compete in Saturday's home game against Blackburn after Fabrice Muamba's collapse.

He said anyone who does not feel up to playing will be excused from the match.

"Will it be difficult? Absolutely. The thoughts are with Fabrice to make sure he continues that recovery," he said.

Midfielder Muamba, 23, remains in intensive care after suffering a cardiac arrest in the FA Cup tie at Tottenham last Saturday.

The match will be Bolton's first since the Spurs game was abandoned.

"I wouldn't ask anybody to play who felt they couldn't," Coyle said.

"So far, no-one has told me they don't want to be involved.

"There comes a point that we have to play our games and move forward."

Muamba was "in effect dead" for 78 minutes following his on-field collapse, Bolton's club doctor Jonathan Tobin has said.

The former England Under-21 player has been visited at the London Chest Hospital by several of his team-mates and players from other teams as he makes steady progress.

Coyle said Muamba's father, Marcel, and fiancee Shauna wanted Bolton to start playing again.

"I spoke to them for over an hour and they were adamant - Bolton had to play their games," said Coyle.

"Everything does pale into insignificance alongside Fabrice's recovery. But we will go out there and do our best."

Coyle said he had not slept on Sunday night as Muamba faced a crucial part of his recovery.

"Monday was an unbelievable day. We are all astonished with how far he has come," said the Scot.

"But we have to stress he is still in intensive care and he is still seriously ill. He has a long way to go."

Fifa president Sepp Blatter has called Muamba's recovery "a miracle" which had deeply affected him as it brought back memories of Cameroon international Marc-Vivien Foe, who died in similar circumstances in 2003.

"I had a phone call from Phil Gartside, the chairman of Bolton, and I have to say it was a very emotional call. As he said, from time to time there are forces somewhere that have nothing to do with reality," said Blatter.

"He spoke about the players who stood all around him. He was very emotional, and I was emotional as well because I told him the story of how I brought Foe back to Cameroon, his homeland, how I accompanied him until his funeral."