A French doctor, who treated Michael Schumacher for six months following his near-fatal skiing accident in France, has predicted that he could recover within three years.
Jean-Francois Payen - a physician at the Grenoble hospital in France, where Schumacher was first cared for before he was later moved to Lausanne hospital in Switzerland - recently visited the former F1 champion at his family home to check on his progress.
"Life after a head injury is punctuated by stages," Payen told RTL radio, also giving his three-year recovery hypothesis. "We hope, but we have to give him time."
Earlier this month, Schumacher’s teenage son, Mick, told French F1 commentator Jean-Louis Moncet that his father is "waking up very slowly" from a medically-induced coma.
Career in Pictures: Michael Schumacher
Career in Pictures: Michael Schumacher
1/17 February 2006
Michael Schumacher is seen in the pits during a training session at the Ricardo Tormo racetrack in Cheste near Valencia in 2006
2/17 November 1994
Hugging two team mechanics in delight for becoming World Champion Driver after the Australian Grand Prix at the Adelaide circuit in November 1994
3/17 October 1995
Flavio Briatore carries a jubilant Michael after he wins the Pacific F1 Grand Prix at Aida in Japan, and wins his second World Drivers Championshp
4/17 February 1996
Schmacher pushes his Ferrari back to the pits after engine trouble left him stranded at the entrance of the pitlane during pre-season testing at Estoril, Portugal
5/17 March 1996
During the Australian Grand Prix in Melbourne
6/17 March 1997
Michael Schumacher in the pit lane during the Australian Grand Prix at Albert Park in Melbourne, Australia
7/17 October 2000
Celebrating on the podium after winning the formula one world championship at the Japanese Grand Prix at Suzuka, Japan
8/17 July 2006
Michael Schumacher of Germany and Ferrari leads the pack into the first corner at the start of the French Formula One Grand Prix at the Nevers Magny-Cours Circuit
Lars Baron/Bongarts/Getty Images
9/17 October 2010
Michael Schumacher drives during the Korean Formula One Grand Prix at the Korea International Circuit
Clive Mason/Getty Images
10/17 October 2011
Michael Schumacher and Mercedes GP waves to the crowd as he attends the drivers parade before the Indian Formula One Grand Prix at the Buddh International Circuit on October 30, 2011 in Noida, India
11/17 December 2011
Sebastian Vettel and Michael Schumacher celebrate after winning the Nations Cup at day one of the race of champions event at the Esprit Arena
12/17 June 2012
Michael Schumacher drives at the Valencia Street Circuit on June 22, 2012 in Valencia during the first practice race of the European Formula One Grand Prix
13/17 September 2012
Michael Schumacher crashes into the back of Jean-Eric Vergne of France and Scuderia Toro Rosso during the Singapore Formula One Grand Prix in September 2012
14/17 November 2012
Schumacher drives in his last race during the Brazilian Formula One Grand Prix at the Autodromo Jose Carlos Pace
Mark Thompson/Getty Images
15/17 December 2013
Deputy director Jean Marc Grenier talks to media outside the CHU Nord hospital in Grenoble, French Alps
16/17 December 2013
Members of the staff are seen outside the emergency services at the CHU Nord hospital in Grenoble, French Alps; this is the hospital where retired seven-times Formula One world champion Michael Schumacher is reported to be hospitalized after a ski accident
17/17 December 2013
A Scuderia Ferrari and Michael Schumacher fan waits, on December 29, in Grenoble, in front of the emergency department of the Centre Hospitalier Universitaire hospital
"I saw his son and he told me that Schumi is waking up very slowly; very slowly," Moncet told Europe 1 radio.
"Although things are going at a slow pace, he has a lot of time, I would say he has his whole life in front of him to get back on track."
Schumacher’s former Ferrari boss Jean Todt said recently that the legendary racing driver will be able to lead "a relatively normal life" after he has fully recovered from his head injury. "We can say he can probably never drive a Formula 1 car again. But he is fighting," said Todt, who is thought to have visited Schumacher at his home.
"His condition improved, and what is just as important is the fact that he is now at home with his family."
In December 2013, Schumacher suffered serious head injuries following a skiing accident in France, leaving him in a medically-induced coma, which he awoke from in June.Reuse content