DOCTORS yesterday gave the first indication that seven-time Formula One world champion Michael Schumacher is on the road to recovery after taking steps to bring him out of an induced coma.
The 45-year-old suffered a serious head injury during a skiing accident in late December and subsequently underwent two operations to remove blood clots from around his brain.
Schumacher has been under observation at the University of Grenoble Hospital for several weeks and his manager Sabine Kehm confirmed significant progress to improve the German’s condition had begun.
She said: “Michael’s sedation is being reduced in order to allow the start of the waking-up process, which may take a long time. The family wishes to express sincere appreciation for the sympathy received from around the world.”
Mercedes drivers Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg have displayed messages of support for Schumacher on the sides of their cars at testing in Jerez this week.
Hamilton set the third fastest lap-time yesterday behind McLaren rookie Kevin Magnussen and Williams' Felipe Massa.
Meanwhile, Red Bull’s week of woe continued when Daniel Ricciardo’s car broke down on its first lap and was able to complete just two more later in the day.
ROAD TO RECOVERY
29 Dec: Hits head on a rock while skiing off-piste near French Alps
30-31 Dec: Placed in an induced coma after two operations
3 Jan: Fans hold silent vigil outside hospital to mark 45th birthday
8 Jan: Prosecutors say Schumacher skiing at safe speed at time of crash
30 Jan: Steps to wake him from coma begin, manager confirms