Aston Villa manager Gerard Houllier is likely to be discharged from hospital in the next 'three to four days' following his admission last week after complaining of chest pains.
The Frenchman also expressed his gratitude for the messages of support he has received from Villa fans as well as from friends far and wide.
"I am extremely touched by all the messages I have received and by the reaction of people throughout the world of football. It has been overwhelming actually," he said in an official statement. "I'm especially grateful to the Villa fans for their genuine concern and encouragement and to the fans of clubs up and down the country. There has been a groundswell of goodwill and I appreciate this so much."
It was confirmed that the cause of Houllier's chest pain was a dissection of the descending aorta, which occurs when a tear in the inner wall of the aorta causes blood to flow between the layers of the wall of the aorta and force the layers apart.
The 63-year-old appears to be on the mend and was quick to praise the reaction of the club at the weekend.
"I'm grateful to my players for their texts and messages and, of course, for their efforts in extending our recent unbeaten run on Saturday against Stoke and also to Gary McAllister and the rest of my staff for stepping in and taking the reins at this time," he said.
"My condition is improving and extremely encouraging. Dr. Mark Waller, the club's doctor, is better placed to explain things from a medical viewpoint, so suffice to say again that I am very moved by the fact that so many people have me in their thoughts just now."
Dr. Waller confirmed that Houllier's had improved since being admitted last week and that he should be allowed to return home soon. But it remains to be seen if the former Liverpool boss will return to the dugout before the end of the season.
"All the tests have confirmed that his heart is working perfectly. We are extremely encouraged by Gerard's improvement over the past six days and we now anticipate that he will be discharged from the coronary care unit at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital within the next three to four days," he said.
Houllier was appointed manager at Villa Park at the start of the current season but did not enjoy the best of starts, an upturn in form since Christmas however has seen them move away from the relegation battle and into mid-table.
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