Schumacher comeback hitch

SEVEN-TIME champion Michael Schumacher&rsquo;s racing comeback is in serious doubt due to a six-month-old neck injury, his spokesperson admitted last night.<br /><br />Schumacher will only be allowed to come out of retirement at the European Grand Prix later this month if the 40-year-old passes a stringent medical assessment, she added.<br /><br />&ldquo;It is not sure yet the neck will hold and the comeback can be started,&rdquo; said Sabine Kehm.<br /><br />&ldquo;It depends on medical investigations. Only after those will it be clear whether he will be able to drive.&rdquo;<br /><br />The German has been tempted back to the track by former team Ferrari as a mid-season replacement for Felipe Massa, while the Brazilian recovers from a horror crash that fractured his skull at last month&rsquo;s Hungarian Grand Prix.<br /><br />But Schumacher admitted earlier this week that his attempts to get race-fit almost three years after his retirement were being hampered by neck pain, caused by a motorbike accident he suffered in February.<br /><br />Kehm added: &ldquo;From the very beginning it was made clear Michael would require medical checks. It is normal. Michael is fully geared up, and fully on it. He has been for a week now. But he is a human being, and we have to make sure everything is fine.&rdquo;<br /><br />Schumacher said on Tuesday: &ldquo;The practice is going pretty well. I only have to admit that my neck pinches a bit. We have to get a grip on that as my health is the priority &ndash; that&rsquo;s the clear arrangement made with Ferrari and with my wife too.&rdquo;<br /><br />The injury is the latest blow to Schumacher&rsquo;s planned return at Valencia on 23 August. Ferrari this week slammed rivals Williams after they and two other teams blocked a request that Schumacher be allowed special dispensation to test this year&rsquo;s car ahead of the race. Schumacher has so far only been able to practise in an older Ferrari F1 car.