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‘Great Schumi’ Leaves Hospital

| Senior Writer, RacinToday.com Monday, June 16 2014

Michael Schumacher is out of the hospital and apparently on the mend.

Nearly six months after suffering a life-threatening head injury in a skiing accident, retired Formula One world champion Michael Schumacher no longer is in a medically induced coma and has left the French hospital where he was being treated.

A statement issued by Schumacher’s family and manager on Monday indicated the seven-time F1 World Driving Champion had made significant progress in recent weeks. The statement confirmed Schumacher no longer was in a coma and had been moved from Centre Hospitalier Universitaire de Grenoble, where he had been since the accident on Dec. 29, 2013.

“Michael has left the CHU Grenoble to continue his long phase of rehabilitation. He is not in a coma anymore,” according to the statement, which appeared on Racer.com and originally was reported by Autosport.com. “His family would like to explicitly thank all his treating doctors, nurses and therapists in Grenoble as well as the first aiders at the place of the accident, who did an excellent job in those first months.

“The family also wishes to thank all the people who have sent Michael all the many good wishes to Michael. We are sure it helped him.

“For the future, we ask for understanding that his further rehabilitation will take place away from the public eye.”

Monday’s statement broke a lengthy period of silence by Schumacher’s wife, Corinna. Schumacher’s rehabilitation locale is being kept secret in respect to his privacy. No immediate updates on his condition are expected.

French prosecutors investigating Schumacher’s accident confirmed months ago that he was skiing “off-piste” – off a marked path – when he fell and hit his head on a rock. But police investigators who reviewed footage from Schumacher’s helmet camera also determined that excessive speed was not a factor in the crash at the Meribel resort early on the morning of Sunday, Dec. 29. Schumacher was skiing with his 14-year-old son, Mick, at the time of the fall.

His life in danger in the accident’s aftermath, Schumacher was placed in a medically induced coma as doctors sought to stabilize his brain and work on his recovery.

Schumacher’s family marked the German’s 45th birthday on Jan. 3 in the hospital where he underwent two operations on his brain. His medical team reiterated after the second operation that because a number of lesions remained on Schumacher’s brain it was impossible to make a recovery prognosis.

Widely considered F1’s most successful driver, Schumacher retired from F1 for a second time after the 2012 season following a lackluster three-year stint with the Mercedes AMG team. “The Great Schumi” racked up seven world championships, 91 wins, 68 poles, 155 podium finishes, 19 consecutive podium results and 5,071 laps-led.

Schumacher shares the record for most single-season wins at 13 with four-time/reigning World Champion Sebastian Vettel, who tied his fellow-countryman from Germany and boyhood idol with a victory for Infiniti Red Bull Racing/Renault in the 2013 season-ending Brazilian Grand Prix.

A star of Mercedes’ endurance sports car racing program in the late 1980s, Schumacher made his F1 debut in 1991 and compiled his seven championships by time of his first retirement in 2006. Five of those titles and 72 of his 91 wins were scored with Scuderia Ferrari, F1’s most glamorous team. In addition to his seven driving titles, Schumacher led Ferrari to six consecutive Constructors’ Championships.

Schumacher returned to F1 with Mercedes AMG in 2010, but struggled to repeat his earlier successes. His only podium was a third-place during the 2012 European Grand Prix in Valencia, Spain.

– John Sturbin can be reached at jsturbin@racintoday.com

| Senior Writer, RacinToday.com Monday, June 16 2014
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