Motor Sport

Schumacher’s condition improves

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Schumi during happier times while skiing in the Alps. The seven-time F1 champion suffered head injuries on Sunday in a skiing accident.

Schumi during happier times while skiing in the Alps. The seven-time F1 champion suffered head injuries on Sunday in a skiing accident. PHOTO BY AFP 

By AFP

Posted  Wednesday, January 1  2014 at  02:00

In Summary

Formula One. The former champion, who turns 45 on 3 January, retired from F1 for a second time in 2012.

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AFP Former motor racing champion Michael Schumacher’s condition has improved slightly after an operation to relieve pressure on his brain, his doctors have said.

A new scan taken overnight showed signs that he was “better than yesterday”, but he was still “not out of danger”, doctors said. The seven-time Formula 1 champion suffered head injuries on Sunday in a skiing accident in the French Alps.He was put in a medically-induced coma.

An initial scan on Monday night showed “an improved situation” and indicated a window of opportunity for a second operation, doctors said. The family took the “difficult decision” to give consent for the procedure, and doctors operated on Schumacher for about two hours.

A subsequent scan revealed a “slight improvement”. “We can’t say he is out of danger but... we have gained a bit of time,’’ said Dr Jean-Francois Payen. “The coming hours are crucial.“All the family is very much aware that his state is still sensitive and anything can happen.” Doctors said it was impossible to give a prognosis for his condition for tomorrow, six months’ or even a year’s time.

‘Extremely shocked’
Schumacher had been skiing off-piste with his teenage son when he fell and hit his head on a rock. He was first evacuated to a hospital in the nearby town of Moutiers.Prof Chabardes said the driver was in an “agitated condition” on arrival in Moutiers and his neurological condition “deteriorated rapidly”. He was taken from Moutiers to the larger facility in Grenoble.

Messages of support have come from around the world.
A spokesman for German Chancellor Angela Merkel said she and her government were, like millions of Germans, “extremely shocked”.

“We hope, with Michael Schumacher and with his family, that he can overcome and recover from his injuries,” the spokesman said. Former Ferrari teammate Felipe Massa, who recovered from life-threatening head injuries he suffered at the 2009 Hungarian Grand Prix, wrote on Instagram: “I am praying for you my brother! I hope you have a quick recovery! God bless you, Michael.”