The health of American football player Demer Hamlin, who collapsed during a game, is “moving in a positive direction”, a friend has said.

Hamlin, 24, had been in critical condition at the hospital since Monday evening when he Fell on the field After a cardiac arrest.

His friend and business partner, Jordan Rooney, said medical professionals have seen signs of improvement.

“Things are going in a positive direction, what the doctors were seeing, I think they saw,” he said.

“Things are going in the right direction.”

His team, the Buffalo Bills, said Hamlin is in the intensive care unit at the University of Cincinnati Medical Center.

But Bills also said that while still fragile, there were signs of improvement Tuesday and overnight.

“He is expected to remain in intensive care as his healthcare team continues to monitor and treat him,” the club said in a tweet.

Mr Rooney said the player was still unconscious and also tried to explain away reports that Hamlin had to be resuscitated twice on the pitch.

“There were some reports last night that he had been revived twice, I wanted to clarify that was incorrect, he was only revived once,” Mr Rooney said.

“Also, things are moving in the right direction right now, but it’s not clear at this point how long things are going to take, how long it will take, where things will go.

“So for the family it’s just a matter of looking for more positive signs and hopefully continuing to build on that.”

(LR) Buffalo Bills defensive back Damar Hamlin goes down after being tackled by Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver Tee Higgins.  Photo: Joseph Maiorana-USA TODAY Sports
(LR) Buffalo Bills defensive back Damar Hamlin goes down after being tackled by Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver Tee Higgins. Photo: Joseph Maiorana-USA TODAY Sports

The heart stopped before being ‘recovered’ on the pitch.

The Buffalo Bulls star was given CPR for about 10 minutes after being injured in a tackle during a game against the Cincinnati Bengals.

Defensive back was bumped by wide receiver T. Higgins.

During the incident on the pitch, Higgins led with his right shoulder, which went into Hamelin’s chest.

Hamlin then wrapped his arms around Higgins’ shoulders and helmet and dragged him down.

Higgins managed to get to his feet and appeared to adjust his helmet before falling backwards and lying motionless.

Bulls said his heart stopped before his heart was “restored” on the pitch by medical staff.

His football shirt was cut off and he was reportedly given oxygen.

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Tearful players surround Dammer Hamlin.

Family expresses ‘sincere gratitude’

Hamlin family on Tuesday Expressed “sincere thanks for the love and support”. It showed him during “this difficult time” and thanked the first responders and hospital staff in Cincinnati.

He asked supporters to keep him in their prayers, adding: “We have been overwhelmed by the prayers, kind words and donations from fans across the country.”

His family added: “We also want to acknowledge the first responders and healthcare professionals at the University of Cincinnati Medical Center who provided exceptional care to Damar.

“We feel very fortunate to be a part of the Buffalo Bills organization and to have their support. We also want to thank Coach (Zach) Taylor and the Bengals for all they have done.

“Your generosity and compassion means the world to us. Please keep Damar in your prayers. We will release updates as we have them.”

This has led to an increase in donations for the charity Hamlin set up two years ago to buy toys for children in need, with donations passing $6m (£5m).

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