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Schumacher shows 'very slight improvement'

31 December, 11:16
Schumacher shows 'very slight improvement' (ANSA) - Rome, December 31 - Formula One legend Michael Schumacher is showing a "very slight improvement" after a second operation on a life-threatening head injury sustained while skiing in France Sunday, doctors said Tuesday. The Grenoble hospital had said Monday it was too early to say if the seven-time F1 champ would survive the "widespread" brain damage including a haemorrhage.

"Michael Schumacher had an overnight operation to ease pressure on his brain and this led to a very slight improvement," doctors told a press conference Tuesday.

"The situation has improved since the operation (which) eliminated the haematoma and applied a device to reduce the pressure," they said.

Schumacher, who won five straight titles with Ferrari from 2000 to 2004 after two with Benetton in 1994 and 1995, was skiing between runs with his son in the French Alps when he fell and cracked his head on a rock. Doctors working to prevent permanent brain injury say his helmet likely saved his life, although it reportedly cracked on impact. The German ex-driver, who retired in 2012 after a disappointing three-year comeback with Mercedes, has been in a coma and in critical condition since the fall.

Doctors refused Monday to predict the outcome of brain surgery on F1's most successful driver, saying they were assessing his condition "hour by hour".