Montpellier midfielder Junior Sambia is no longer in an induced coma, according to reports in France.

L’Equipe report that Sambia, who was the first Ligue 1 footballer confirmed to have Covid-19, was woken up on Friday evening with no issues.

He is now managing to breathe on his own but remains in a weakened state.

Sambia will be closely monitored by doctors in case of any new respiratory complications.

Earlier this week his agent revealed the symptoms had become so serious that after changing hospital and being in intensive care, doctors decided to put him in a coma.

Frederic Guerra told Le Parisien: “His condition is stable this Friday [morning]. It has not deteriorated, nor improved.

“It is tough. He really respected confinement. He did everything well. He must have contracted the virus while shopping.

“He suffered three days of severe diarrhoea – like gastroenteritis. Then, on Tuesday morning, he went to the hospital.

“I reached him when he was on an IV. He had just received the Covid-19 test result. This one was negative. He was due to leave on Wednesday, then his condition worsened with his lungs.

“It grew more complicated in transit. He went back to the same hospital, then he changed hospitals twice before being placed in an artificial coma.”

South Korean Hyun-jun Suk, who plays for Ligue 2 side Troyes, became the first professional player in France to contract the virus on March 13.

But thankfully, he was on the mend by the end of the month.

There have been more than 123,000 confirmed cases of Covid-19 in France with 22,245 deaths at the time of writing.

President Emmanuel Macron extended the lockdown in the country until May 11 earlier in April.

Frenchman Sambia is originally from Lyon but chose to stay in Montpellier during lockdown.

He is a defensive midfielder and has played 22 games in all competitions for Montpellier this season, scoring once.

Sambia moved from Chamois Niortais to the Occitanie region of South France, initially on loan in 2017 before making the switch permanent a year later.

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His side were eighth in the Ligue 1 table at the time of the suspension, on 40 points alongside Lyon and Monaco.

They sit ten points adrift of Rennes who occupy the third and final Champions League spot with ten matches remaining should the season be resumed.

Montpellier won their only first-division crown in their 101-year history in 2011/12 when Olivier Giroud’s 21 goals powered them to a shock title.


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