Michael Schumacher is “making progress” in his recovery from the injuries he sustained last year, but he still faces a “long, hard fight”, according to his manager.
Monday marks exactly a year since the seven-time Formula 1 World Champion suffered severe head injuries during a skiing accident in the French Alps. He spent six months in a medically induced coma before being brought out of it in June.
After several months in hospital, he was finally moved to his home in Geneva, Switzerland, where he continues his rehabilitation.
His family and manager have kept updates about his condition pretty brief, but his long-time manager Sabine Kehm gave a brief a statement on Sunday.
“We need a long time. It’s going to be a long time and a hard fight,” she told news agency Reuters.
She added: “He is making progress appropriate to the severity of the situation.”
Kehm’s views are in contrast to those of former Formula 1 driver Philippe Streiff, who told the Le Parisien newspaper that the German is able to recognise his wife and two children.
“He hasn’t yet recovered the power of speech, and communicates with his eyes. Nevertheless he is beginning to recognise his family, his wife and his children, but has big memory problems,” Streiff, who is in a wheelchair following an accident in 1989, said.
He added that Schumacher is paralysed, but “in the long term, and ideally, he’ll be able to maybe hope to walk with crutches one day as his spinal cord wasn’t damaged. But you can’t predict anything.”
Streiff has previously claimed that he is a close friend of Schumacher, but Kehm dismissed his latest comments.
“I cannot confirm that (report),” she said. “I can only confirm that I do not know where Mr Streiff has his information from because he has no contact with us and he never has.”