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Miguel Garcia 'continues to improve' after suffering heart-attack during Spanish league game
By MATT FORTUNE
Spanish second division side UD Salamanca have released a very positive statement about the health of player Miguel Garcia who 'died' for almost half a minute during Sunday's match against Real Betis.
Garcia collapsed in the centre circle after suffering a heart attack early in the second half. The 31-year-old was revived on the pitch before being rushed to Salamanca's University Hospital, where the club say his condition continues to improve following surgery.
Team physician Jose Ignacio Garrido said after the match that the player was legally dead for 25 seconds. He added that his playing days were almost certainly over.
Cardiac arrest: Salamanca's Miguel Garcia collapsed after suffering a heart-attack during a league match in Spain on Sunday
The statement on the club website said: 'The health status of Miguel Garcia continues to evolve successfully. He had a good night and this morning medical services at the hospital informed UD Salamanca that his vital signs are normal. Miguel Garcia will remain at the Intensive Care Unit.
'Miguel Garcia remains stable and recovering from cardiac arrest suffered in the match.'
'UD Salamanca want to show their sincere appreciation to the medical services at the hospital and to the medical services of the club, Real Betis and the Salamanca Red Cross for their rapid and efficient intervention.
'Similarly, the UD Salamanca wish to thanked the media for exemplary behavior, concern and understanding for the sad event at the stadium Helmántico.'
Betis team doctor Tomas Calero's diagnosis over Garcia's future was clear after assisting in saving the player's life.
'If he had a heart attack at his age, he can't compete in elite-level sport,' Calero was quoted as saying in El Pais.
Panic: Players, management and medical staff were left in tears as Garcia was treated and then rushed to hospital
The incident left players stunned, with many breaking down in tears.
Garcia's collapse is not the first time a player has suffered a heart attack during a La Liga game, and Italian newspaper Gazzetta dello Sport hit out at the effectiveness of the medical checks carried out in Spain in their edition on Monday.
Been here before: Sevilla defender Antonio Puerta died in 2007 aged just 22 after collapsing during a match
Antonio Puerta, a rising Spanish star, died of cardiac arrest at the age of 22 while playing for Sevilla in 2007.
While not on the pitch, another Spaniard, 26-year-old Espanyol captain Dani Jarque, suffered a fatal heart attack last year. And just a few months ago, a similar accident claimed the life of Jordi Pitarque, a player from the Catalonian third division.
Real Madrid's Ruben de la Red also suffered a similar episode during a game two years ago and never returned to play.
As a result of the previous tragedies, a defibrillator is a legal requirement at all professional Spanish matches, as well as any sports centre in the countries.