Michael Schumacher, who was in critical condition after suffering a head injury from a skiing accident in late December, has come out of a coma and left the French hospital in Grenoble where he had been receiving treatment, media reports said Monday, citing the seven-time Formula 1 champion’s manager.
Schumacher was in a coma for more than five months after he was critically injured on Dec. 29 while reportedly doing some backcountry skiing, or off-piste, in the French Alps resort of Meribel, about 75 miles west of Grenoble. According to reports, the 45-year-old German racing legend was put in a medically-induced coma to decrease the swelling in his brain caused by the accident.
"Michael has left the CHU Grenoble (hospital) to continue his long phase of rehabilitation. He is not in a coma anymore," Sabine Kehm reportedly said, in a statement, adding that Schumacher’s 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.
"For the future we ask for understanding that his further rehabilitation will take place away from the public eye," Kehm, reportedly added. Kehm had said, in early April, that he was showing “moments of consciousness and awakening.” Schumacher underwent several surgeries for the removal of blood clots in his head.
Schumacher retired from racing for the second time in 2012, after a disappointing comeback in 2010 when he drove for three seasons for Mercedes. He first retired in 2006 after winning five straight titles with Ferrari following two earlier ones with Benetton.