Schumacher still in coma one month after crash

media captionMichael Schumacher 'still in coma'

One month after his skiing accident, Formula 1 legend Michael Schumacher is still in a medically induced coma, his manager has said.

Sabine Kehm told the BBC the seven-time world champion remained in a "stable" condition at a clinic in Grenoble.

She has rejected as "speculation" a French media report saying Schumacher was being woken from his coma.

The German suffered a severe head injury on 29 December when he fell and hit a rock in the French Alps.

Surgeons have performed two operations to remove blood clots around Schumacher's brain. He is being kept asleep to reduce swelling.

'Better than expected'

Doctors in Grenoble have ruled out giving a prognosis for his condition in the coming days and months.

But it is medically possible for someone to spend several weeks in an induced coma and make a full recovery.

However Professor Gary Hartstein, a former F1 doctor who worked with Schumacher, said it "was extremely unlikely" that the 45-year-old would regain his previous level of health.

Prof Hartstein nevertheless described the champion's current state as encouraging.

"The fact that he is still sedated and not in an unsedated coma is better news than I expected," he told the BBC.

British neurosurgeon Peter Kirkpatrick suggested French medical staff may keep Schumacher in a coma to avoid chest infections and breathing problems.

"I think it's true to say that our French colleagues tend to ventilate patients for much longer than we do here, but I certainly wouldn't discount the possibility of Mr Schumacher still having a reasonable recovery."

Meanwhile, Ferrari - the racing team with which Schumacher had 72 of his 91 F1 wins - said in an online statement it was "waiting" for his return:

"Dear Michael, having spent so many years at Ferrari, you became one of us. You thrilled us so often, bringing us great joy, but the greatest one is yet to come: namely seeing you here in Maranello again, to meet your second family, the Ferrari one."

Off-piste accident

Schumacher's family have been by his bedside since the accident. They have received hundreds of letters and gifts from around the world, as a show of support for the popular sports star.

On Sunday, fans marched around the Spa-Francrochamps race track in Belgium to pay tribute to Schumacher.

He made his grand prix debut at the track in 1991 and won six of his seven world titles there.

Earlier this month, investigators probing the accident said Schumacher had been going at the speed of "a very good skier" at the time of the accident in the resort of Meribel.

He had been skiing eight metres off-piste when he fell, they added.

Experts reconstructed events leading up to the crash after examining Schumacher's skiing equipment and viewing footage filmed on a camera attached to his helmet.

The German retired from racing in 2012 after a 19-year career.

He won two titles with Benetton, in 1994 and 1995, before switching to Ferrari in 1996 and going on to win five straight titles from 2000.

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