MICHAEL Schumacher is showing "small, encouraging signs" he may wake from his coma, more than two months after a ski crash left the former Formula One champion with severe head injuries.
Updates since Schumacher's accident have offered few details and limited optimism for the man who once drove the world's fastest cars and the latest statement from his agent was little different, describing "an extremely intimate and fragile situation" for his family.
Sabine Kehm said in a statement: "It is very hard to comprehend for all of us that Michael, who had overcome a lot of precarious situations in the past, has been hurt so terribly in such a banal situation.
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"We are and remain confident Michael will pull through and will wake up. There sometimes are small, encouraging signs, but we also know that this is the time to be very patient."
Small signs that physicians are watching for could include fluttering eyelids, or efforts to breathe without a ventilator.
Dr Tipu Aziz, professor of neurosurgery at Oxford University, said: "This doesn't change one's opinion of Schumacher's situation in general. It's still very difficult to predict what his long-term recovery will be like and if he does wake up and comes off the ventilator in all likelihood he will be severely disabled."
Schumacher was badly injured in the ski accident on December 29 when he crashed into rocks at Meribel in the French Alps.