Michael Schumacher
Michael Schumacher

Michael Schumacher finally out of coma

MICHAEL Schumacher's manager Sabine Kehm has confirmed that the seven-time Formula One world champion is out of his coma, six-and-a-half months after his skiing accident that left him with life-threatening brain injuries.

Kehm has acted as the spokesperson for the Schumacher family throughout his recovery, after he suffered a severe brain trauma on 29 December last year while skiing with famlily and friends in the exclusive French ski resort of Meribel.

"Michael has left the CHU Grenoble to continue his long phase of rehabilitation. He is not in a coma anymore," Kehm confirmed on Monday morning.

The 45-year-old underwent two operations at the Grenoble University Hospital to remove haematomas and ease swelling on his brain, but fears that he would not recover began to intensify when attempts to bring him out of the medically-induced coma began in January, with little success.

Kehm stressed that the process can take a very long time and is often drawn out, and she confirmed in April that the former Jordan, Benetton, Ferrari and Mercedes driver was showing "small, encouraging signs" of a recovery.

The statement continued: "His family would like to explicitly thank all his treating doctors, nurses and therapists in Grenoble as well as the first aiders at the place of the accident, who did an excellent job in those first months.

"The family also wishes to thank all the people who have sent Michael all the many good wishes to Michael. We are sure it helped him.

"For the future we ask for understanding that his further rehabilitation will take place away from the public eye."

It has not been revealed where Schumacher will continue his treatment, and the family are not expected to hold a press conference in the near future.

The most successful driver the grace the F1 grid, Schumacher's accident attracted worldwide attention as fans prayed for the German to make a full recovery.

Last week, The Independent revealed that activity at the Schumacher home in Switzerland had significantly increased, leading to hopes that he could soon return home from France to continue his treatment.

Schumacher won 91 grand prix's during his illustrious career, securing the 1994 and 1995 Drivers' Championship before seeking a move to Ferrari. After a period of intense battling with both Williams and McLaren, Schumacher went on to dominate the sport and secured the title five years' on the spin between 2000 and 2004.

He went on to announce his retirement at the end of the 2006 season, only to mount a comeback with Mercedes in 2010. His second coming saw little success though, with a podium finish in Valencia at the 2012 European Grand Prix the highlight of his three-year return.

He would retire for a second and final time at the end of that season.