Michael Schumacher out of coma

Former Formula 1 champion Michael Schumacher is no longer in a coma and has left the Grenoble hospital where he has been treated since a skiing accident in the Alps five months ago, his spokeswoman said on Monday.

“Michael has left the CHU Grenoble [hospital] to continue his long phase of rehabilitation. He is not in a coma anymore,” his spokeswoman, Sabine Kehm, said in a statement.

Kehm thanked the doctors and nurses at Grenoble hospital and the rescue services who took him from the scene of the accident. She said they had done “an excellent job in those first months”.

She also expressed gratitude for messages of support and asked for privacy while Schumacher’s rehabilitation took place “away from the public eye”.

The seven-time Formula One champion is supposed to be undergoing treatment in Switserland.

Schumacher sustained life-threatening head injuries after falling on to a rock while skiing with friends in the resort of Meribel, in the French Alps, on 29 December. He underwent two operations in Grenoble to remove blood clots on the brain.

Former Formula One doctor, Gary Hartstein, wrote on his blog earlier this month that he feared the worst, given the lack of information from Schumacher’s family. He said he was “quite afraid (and virtually certain) we will never have any good news about Michael”.