Abdelhak Nouri is now out of coma after two years and nine months.
The 22-year old suffered a cardiac arrhythmia attack on the pitch during Ajax’s pre-season friendly against Werder Bremen in July 2017. The attack caused a permanent brain damage and left him in a coma.
His brother Abderrahim confirmed the news to Dutch TV show De Wereld Draait Door, saying the former player is now able to respond using gestures.
“It’s going well with Appie, but what is good? He’s awake, he sleeps, he eats, he burps but he doesn’t get out of bed,” Abderrahim said.
“In good moments there is a form of communication where he moves his eyebrows but he can’t keep it up for long.
“Appie is aware of where he is. It’s good for him to be in a familiar environment with his family.
“We talk to him and watch football with him – he likes that. Sometimes it gets very emotional but often there’s a smile. That’s good for us.”
Nouri was considered a promising prospect for the Dutch club, making his way to the senior team at just 19 years old while appearing in 15 matches for Ajax.