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Leave Michael and our family alone, says wife

- ‘Please trust statements, medical bulletins’
A file picture of Michael and Corinna Schumacher

Berlin: Michael Schumacher’s wife appealed to the media on Tuesday to leave the French hospital they have staked out since the German was critically injured in a skiing accident nine days ago and to let the doctors do their job.

Corinna Schumacher also asked the media to leave her family in peace after German reports said on Monday there had been a slight improvement in the former driver’s condition, hours after Grenoble hospital had issued a bulletin saying he was still stable but critical.

“Please support us in our joint struggle with Michael,” Corinna said in a statement. “It is important to me that you relieve the doctors and the hospital so they can work in peace. Please trust their statements, medical bulletins and leave the hospital. Please leave Michael and us in peace.”

They were Corinna’s first public comments since a December 30 statement in which she thanked the medical team for their efforts and expressed gratitude to fans around the world for their outpouring of support.

Schumacher, a seven-time Formula One world champion, suffered brain injuries when his head hit a rock in France on December 27.

He has been in an induced coma since then and has undergone two operations in Grenoble.

The hospital and the German’s management have repeatedly asked the media to respect his privacy.

The medical team have held news conferences and issued periodic bulletins on his condition including one on Monday that said: “The clinical state of Michael Schumacher is stable as he’s under permanent care and treatment. However, the medical team in charge stresses that it continues to assess his situation as critical.”

Bild, Germany’s best-selling newspaper, reported on Tuesday under the headline ‘First hopes for Schumi’ that the former driver nearly died twice last week.

It added that doctors were now more optimistic he would survive. “Twice in the last week it looked like Schumi would lose the fight for his life,” the newspaper wrote.

“The brain scan on Friday was ‘catastrophic’, the paper has learned from medical sources. But after the readings stabilised towards the weekend the doctors are now confident he will make it.”

Earlier, doctors treating Schumacher said he remained in a stable but critical condition.

“The clinical state of Michael Schumacher is considered as stable and is being constantly monitored as he receives medical treatment,” a statement from Grenoble’s University Hospital said.

“However, the medical team in charge of his care underlines that they continue to consider Michael’s condition as critical.”

The team treating Schumacher said they would be giving no details of the treatment the 45-year-old is receiving in order to protect his right to privacy.

“The privacy of the patient demands that we are not going into details of his treatment, and this is why we do not envisage any press conferences or statements in the near future.”

French prosecutors meanwhile said they would this week brief journalists on their investigation into Schumacher’s accident.

A press conference will be held on Wednesday in the Alpine town of Albertville, local prosecutor Patrick Quincy told.

Investigators are focusing on the retired racer’s speed when he fell and slammed his head on a rock on a small off-piste section, prompting his evacuation by helicopter to Grenoble.

Prosecutors are also looking at whether the limits of the ski runs next to the accident site were correctly marked and whether the rock in question was lying close enough to the piste to require some kind of protection or signage.

They are also examining whether the safety releases on Schumacher’s skis operated properly in a probe aimed at determining responsibility for the accident.