Formula One legend Michael Schumacher, lying in a coma in a French hospital since a December skiing accident, has overcome a lung infection, German daily Bild reported on Saturday.
The newspaper had reported two days earlier that Schumacher had contracted pneumonia last week, but it said Friday that the infection in fact had happened earlier and “this week no longer spells an acute danger”.
“Therefore Schumi has already won the fight against pneumonia,” said the top-selling daily, using the popular nickname for the 45-year-old German racing driver.
Schumacher has been in intensive care in Grenoble University Hospital since his December 29 accident in the Alpine resort of Meribel in which he hit his head against a rock in an impact strong enough to crack his helmet.
After surgery to reduce bleeding and bruising he was placed in an induced coma and his body temperature lowered to reduce the risk of further damage.
Schumacher’s spokesman said on January 30 that the drugs used to keep him in a coma were being reduced with a view to bringing him back to consciousness. The 45-year-old German has undergone two operations since sustaining brain injuries after slamming his head on a rock while skiing off-piste in the French Alps resort of Meribel on the penultimate day of the previous year.
The seven-times world champion was in a stable but critical condition until late January and doctors started lowering his sedation level two weeks ago to wake him up progressively.
“As often in such situations no day is like the next. The family would not wish to disclose medical details in order to protect Michael’s privacy,” Schumacher’s agent Sabine Kehm said in a statement.
“As assured from the beginning, we will continue to communicate any decisive new information on Michael’s health state. We are aware that the wake-up phase can take a long time,” said agent Kehm to reporters in Germany.