Michael Schumacher has had “moments of consciousness and awakening”, his spokeswoman says, in a sign of progress months after the Formula One legend suffered devastating brain injuries in a ski accident.
Doctors put Schumacher in a medically induced coma after the December 29 accident in which he slammed his head on a rock while skiing at the French resort of Meribel with his son and friends.
The 45-year-old remains in hospital in the French Alpine city of Grenoble, where he underwent two operations to remove life-threatening blood clots before being placed into a coma.
His family said in January that the drugs were being reduced with a view to bringing him back to consciousness.
“Michael is making progress…. He shows moments of consciousness and awakening,” spokeswoman Sabine Kehm said in a statement on Friday.
“We are on his side during his long and difficult fight, together with the team of the hospital in Grenoble, and we keep remaining confident,” Kehm.
The news of an improvement in Schumacher’s condition was greeted with relief by the sport’s current top German drivers taking part in this weekend’s Bahrain Grand Prix.
“Very happy to hear good news about Michael here at Bahrain,” tweeted current world championship leader Nico Rosberg, who was Schumacher’s teammate at Mercedes from 2010 until 2012.
“It’s fantastic to hear,” Rosberg told a news conference later. “I am very happy, as is everybody else in the paddock. We know that his family would be very careful before releasing such good news. I hope he will continue to progress.”
Current world champion Sebastian Vettel said the latest update was good to hear.
“It’s great news for his family and for Formula One,” said Vettel.