• Schumacher Accident

Schumacher 'sedation is being reduced' confirms family

ESPN Staff
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A message of support for Michael Schumacher on a Mercedes at the pre-season testing in Jerez © Mercedes
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The family of Michael Schumacher have confirmed media reports he is slowly being brought out of his medically induced coma.

Schumacher suffered a severe head injury on December 29 when he fell and hit a rock while skiing in the French Alps. Surgeons performed two operations to remove blood clots around his brain since when he has been kept in a coma.

A family spokesman said: "Michael's sedation is being reduced in order to allow the start of the waking up process which may take long time."

Media reports which originated in France yesterday claimed this was happening but that was denied last night by Schumacher's manager.

"For the protection of the family, it was originally agreed by the interested parties to communicate this information only once this process was consolidated. Please note that no further updates will be given

"The family is again requesting to respect its privacy and the medical secret, and to not disturb the doctors treating Michael in their work. At the same time, the family wishes to express sincere appreciation for the worldwide sympathy."

Professor Gary Hartstein, a former F1 doctor who worked with Schumacher, told the BBC it "was extremely unlikely" that he would regain his previous level of health but said his current condition was encouraging. "The fact that he is still sedated and not in an unsedated coma is better news than I expected."

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