Michael Schumacher's manager says the Formula One great remains “in a waking up process”, two weeks after doctors at the University of Grenoble hospital began the delicate job of bringing him out of an induced coma. His family added that they “strongly believe” in his recovery.
The latest update on the 45-year-old's condition comes at the end of a week that has witnessed fresh speculation over Schumacher's survival chances, following a report in Germany's Bild newspaper which claimed the stricken seven-time world champion has been battling pneumonia.
The claim has subsequently been repeated in publications around the world, and although Thursday's update did not issue a denial of that story, it made clear that "any decisive new information" on Schumacher's condition would be communicated to the media.
"Michael's family would like to again express their sincere thanks for the continuous sympathy coming from all over the world," the statement from Schumacher's manager, Sabine Kehm, read.
"The good-wishes they receive help the family and, we are convinced, they also help Michael, who still is in a waking-up process.
"As often in such situation no day is like the next. The family is thankful for one's understanding that they would not wish to disclose medical details in order to protect Michael's privacy.
"As assured from the beginning we will continue to communicate any decisive new information on Michael's health state. We are aware that the wake-up phase can take a long time."
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
Doctors treating Schumacher announced they had begun the process of waking him in a statement on January 30, a month after the 91-time grand prix winner sustained severe head injuries in a skiing accident at the French Alpine resort of Meribel.
Following the accident on December 29, Schumacher underwent two operations to remove blood clots from his brain and was placed into the artificial coma.
Initial, unconfirmed reports indicated Schumacher had responded positively to neurological tests and instructions following the commencement of the wake-up phase.
Thursday's statement added: "The family continues to strongly believe in Michael's recovery and place all their trust in the doctors, nurses and nursing auxiliaries team.
"The important thing is not the speed of the recovery but that Michael's healing process progresses in a continuous and controlled way."Reuse content