Schumacher facing ‘long fight’

Schumacher suffered severe head injuries during the accident a year ago in the French Alps. The helmet which the German was wearing at the time of his crash split in two upon impact and has been credited with saving his life.

After five months at Grenoble Hospital in southern France, it was announced in June that the seven-time world champion was no longer in a coma and had been transferred to Lausanne Hospital in Switzerland. Schumacher then returned home in September to what is believed to be a specially-constructed medical unit at the family???s base on the shore of Lake Geneva.

Scant details about Schumacher???s condition have been released over the last 12 months, with the last official update from Sabine Kehm, Schumacher???s long-time manager, issued in September stating: ???Considering the severe head injuries he suffered, progress has been made in the past weeks and months. There is still, however, a long and difficult road ahead.???

Philippe Streiff, a former F1 driver who was paralysed in a testing accident in 1989, recently told the French media that Schumacher “had yet to recover the power of speech” but was “starting to recognise those close to him”.

However, speaking to Reuters, Kehm denounced the reports as ???factually wrong???, before adding: ???We need a long time. It’s going to be a long time and a hard fight. He is making progress appropriate to the severity of the situation.???

Schumacher, who drove for Ferrari and Mercedes during his record-breaking F1 career, will turn 46 on January 3.