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‘Schumi’s health is improving’

- There are signs that give us encouragement, says the legend’s Manager

London: Michael Schumacher could be on the road to recovery. His manager, Sabine Kehm, revealed that his health is improving, according to a report in The Independent.

“I can only say again: There are signs that give us encouragement,” she said. She also dismissed speculation that the F1 driver’s family are planning on turning his Swiss home into a 10 million hospital as his health dwindles, apparently masterminded by his wife, Corinna.

“The rumours that Corinna’s remodelling their house to bring the supposedly ‘hopeless case Michael’ home, are absolutely groundless” she said.

Schumacher has been in a medically induced coma since December. He suffered serious head injuries after hitting his head on a rock while skiing in a French ski resort.

If his medical state were to improve, it is expected that would be moved from his hospital in Grenoble to a rehabilitation clinic. Kehm’s comments reaffirm her statement made in March that he is still in “the wake up phase”, when she said that “any medical information published which is not confirmed by the team of doctors treating Michael or his management has to be considered as not valid.”

Her quotes conflict with the views of former F1 chief doctor Dr Gary Hartstein, who wrote on his blog last week that the situation is still grave, describing Schumacher’s current state as “persistent coma”.

“As time goes on, it becomes less and less likely that Michael will emerge to any significant extent,” Hartstein said. “As mentioned previously, the longer one remains in a vegetative state, the less the likelihood of emerging, and the higher the chances of severe ramifications if the patient does in fact emerge.

“Patients who are in a persistent/permanent vegetative state have lifespans that are measured in months to a few years. This depends on baseline function (extraordinary in the case of Michael, of course), the quality of nursing care, and other imponderables. They usually die of respiratory or urinary infections. Longer survivals have been described, but are exceptional.”

Earlier, Felipe Massa said he saw Michael Schumacher's mouth move as he spoke to him in hospital.

The racing driver said he feels 'very positive' about his friend's condition following a recent visit to the seven-time Formula One champion in hospital.

When asked about his friend’s condition by journalists, Massa replied: “He was sleeping, and I was very positive because he was normal.

“He looks normal, and he also gave some reactions with the mouth and everything. So it's positive to look at him.

“I have no experience to say anything. I'm not a doctor. But when I saw him, for me, it looked very positive.” Speaking further, he said: “I always try to be optimistic.

“I saw him, I talked to him, I told him everything I did in Jerez (at the first test), about my car, the new team (Williams), everything. I told him to wake up many times... I’m positive. We need to believe. It’s always very difficult to say because I have zero experience about what the doctors say.”

       (Agencies)