After spending over nine months in hospital, former Formula One star Michael Schumacher is heading home to continue his recovery. The move was confirmed by Schumacher's manager Sabine Kehm on Tuesday.
Kehm says the seven-time Formula One champion from Germany has made "progress" since a skiing accident in December put him in a coma, but that he still has "a long and difficult road ahead."
Schumacher had been hospitalized in Lausanne since June, after initially spending six months at a hospital in France, near where the ski accident took place in Meribel on December 29, last year. According to Kehm, he first came out of his artificially-induced coma on June 16. A man suspected of stealing Schumacher's medical files was subsequently arrested and then found hanged in his cell.
The current statement from Schumacher's management thanked the staff at the hospital treating Schumacher, the CHUV in Lausanne. It also requested respect for Schumacher's health and his family's privacy.
French authorities investigating the original accident said that Schumacher was skiing off piste when he hit an impediment, fell 3.5 meters (11.5 feet) and hit his head on rocks. His ski helmet was destroyed on impact.
Michael Schumacher is the most successful driver in Formula One history. On top of his impressive collection of World Championships, Schumacher also participated in a total of 308 Grands Prix. He first retired in 2006, but returned to the sport three years later, although he enjoyed less success. After the 2012 season, Schumacher retired from Formula One for good.
al/sb (AP, AFP)