Injured Formula 1 legend Michael Schumacher has been showing “small, encouraging signs” in his fight for recovery, his family says.
“We are and remain confident that Michael will pull through and will wake up,” the relatives said in a statement.
The release prompted by and an “increasing interest in [his] condition in light of the start of the Formula 1 season” was issued by his manager Sabine Kehm on Wednesday morning.
“There sometimes are small, encouraging signs, but we also know that this is the time to be very patient,” the statement added.
Doctors in France have been working to bring the seven-time champion out of a medically induced coma.
The 45-year-old German suffered a severe head injury in a skiing accident in the French Alps on 29 December.
He has been kept in a coma to help reduce the swelling in his brain.
Investigators probing the accident said the retired Formula One champion had been skiing off-piste when he fell and hit a rock.
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.
Family statement in full:
“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.
Michael has suffered severe injuries. It is very hard to comprehend for all of us that Michael, who had overcome 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 heart-warming to see how much sympathy his family is shown and I can say that the family is extremely grateful for it. 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 that he will also win this fight.”