Clarke making progress after double heart failure

Leicester chairman Milan Mandaric insists that Clive Clarke is making progress is his recovery from a double heart failure after the defender “sat up and spoke” this afternoon.

Clarke, who is on a three-month loan spell at the Walkers Stadium from Sunderland, collapsed at half-time in last night’s Carling Cup clash at Nottingham Forest just hours after the death of Sevilla defender Antonio Puerta who suffered a cardiac arrest whilst in action against Getafe on Saturday.

The second round tie was abandoned after the 27-year-old had lost consciousness in the dressing room.

After mouth-to-mouth resuscitation had failed, paramedics twice had to use a defibrillator to restart his heart at the City Ground before Clarke regained consciousness and was taken to hospital where he spent last night in a stable condition.

Mandaric told Sky Sports News: “Unfortunately I have not had chance to see him but it is encouraging news that he is stabilising and he has sat up and spoke and is quite comfortable and resting.

“It is important he just gets better. It is a sad thing when you see a young man collapsing and getting down on the floor.

“It wasn’t something that anyone can accept easily but I think the most important thing now is that he gets out of hospital and gets on with his football.”

Clarke’s agent Gary Mellor does not know when the left-back will be released from hospital.

He told BBC Radio Stoke: “Clive is sitting up and talking and he is going to have more tests.

“They won’t give us any idea as to when he will be released. They don’t want to tell us any more until they know exactly what happened.

“His family are very upset, especially after what happened with the Sevilla player Antonio Puerta dying recently. We just hope he is going to be okay.”

Leicester manager Martin Allen paid tribute to the club’s medical staff for their quick treatment of Clarke at the City Ground.

He told the club’s official website, www.lcfc.co.uk, said: “I must say [head physio] Dave Rennie and [sports scientist] Damien Doyle were absolutely outstanding in coping and dealing with what was a traumatic and difficult situation.

“We are lucky both members of staff were on hand at such a difficult and testing time.”

Sunderland chairman Niall Quinn has sent the club’s best wishes to Clarke and has wished the Dubliner a speedy recovery.

He told the Black Cats’ official website: “Our thoughts and prayers are still very much with Clive and his family and we wish him a speedy recovery.

“We are in constant contact with the Leicester, who reacted magnificently in the circumstances. Sunderland AFC are very grateful to the medical departments at both Leicester and Nottingham Forest for all they have done in a very difficult situation.”

Sunderland manager Roy Keane added his thoughts to those of his chairman.

He said: “He’s one of our players and fingers crossed, please God, he will be okay. We wish him well.”

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