Michael Schumacher’s family has issued a long overdue update on the seven-time World Champion’s medical state in a bid to counter a spate of wild tabloid reports suggesting that his head injuries sustained in a December skiing accident are terminal.

A statement issued by the Schumacher family – who have maintained an almost 24/7 vigil by his bedside – suggests the German is showing “small, encouraging signs” in a long road to recovery.

“We are and remain confident that Michael will pull through and will wake up. There sometimes are small, encouraging signs, but we also know that this is the time to be very patient,” a family statement issued by his manager, Sabina Kehm, reads.

Schumacher has remained comatose since suffering serious head injuries in a high-speed skiing accident in the French Alps on December 29. After two rounds of neurosurgery to reduce bleeding and swelling on the brain, he was kept in a medically-induced coma until late January before his treating doctors took the next step of reducing sedation in the hope of bringing him out of unconsciousness.

News from his treating Grenoble hospital has been scarce to say the least, triggering repeated waves of inaccurate and appallingly sourced stories in the tabloids worldwide that have claimed he will remain in a permanent vegetative state. Again, his family remains confident of his progress.

“Michael has suffered severe injuries. It is very hard to comprehend for all of us that Michael, who overcame a lot of precarious situations in the past, has been hurt so terribly in such a banal situation. It was clear from the start that this will be a long and hard fight for Michael. We are taking this fight on together with the team of doctors, whom we fully trust. The length of the process is not the important part for us.

“It is very heart-warming to see how much sympathy his family is shown and I can say that the family is extremely grateful for it,” the statement concludes.

“However, it should not be forgotten that Michael’s family is dealing with an extremely intimate and fragile situation. And I would like to remind all of us that Michael has always actively kept his family out of the public eye and consequently protected their private lives. We try to channel all the energies we have toward Michael and we firmly believe that this will help him. And we believe he will also win this fight.”

Schumacher’s former teammate Nico Rosberg also sent his best wishes to his ex-Mercedes colleague.

Speaking at a media event where he took part in a friendly penalty shootout with Melbourne Victory players, the 28-year-old said: “It’s been tough news, for him and his family, and myself and my family.

“I just wish that he can make it and come back [to consciousness]. It’s clearly tough, and I don’t have any details, but I wish he and his family the best.”

Image via XPB Images

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Richard Bailey

Founder & Chief Editor at MotorsportM8
Hasn't missed a Grand Prix since 1989. Has a soft spot for Minardi. Tattooed with 35+ Grand Prix circuits.