Abdelhak Nouri has woken up from a coma
Abdelhak Nouri has woken up from a coma after nearly three years. Stanley Gontha/Shutterstock.

The family of former Ajax starlet Abdelhak Nouri has said he has returned home and is able to respond to them after spending almost three years in a coma.

Nouri, 22, collapsed due to to cardiac arrhythmia during a friendly encounter against German outfit Werder Bremen in July 2017, suffering permanent brain damage as a result of the incident.

The former attacking midfielder was in a coma before he started to show improvement in August 2018, and Nouri’s brother, Abderrahim told De Wereld Draait Door:

"He has not been home very long, we take care of him there now. I must say that since he is at home it is going much better than before in the hospital.
"He is aware of where he is, he is back in a familiar environment with his family.”

Ajax admitted their initial treatment for the injury was inadequate following a lawsuit from the player’s family, and chief executive Edwin van der Sar clarified that too much time was spent clearing his airways when the defibrillator should have been used.

“Appie” earned the plaudits of his peers and attracted widespread praise from team-mates following the incident. Former Ajax star Frankie de Jong also revealed his old team-mate had a hand in helping him decide to join Barcelona last year, per Dutch Football:

The ex-playmaker’s father, Mohammed, added: "We have to take care of him at our very best. We try to do a lot ourselves.”

Nouri was highly regarded at the time of his injury and was expected to make the more permanent step into Ajax’s senior team after a handful of senior appearances.