STILL FIGHTING: Former F1 legend Michael Schumacher is fighting for his life after suffering serious head injuries during a skiing accident in France. Image: AFP
PARIS, France - A doctor who treated brain-damaged Michael Schumacher after his 2013 skiing accident has said the seven-times Formula 1 champion had made progress but his recovery could still take years.
"I have observed some progress but we have to give him time," Jean-Francois Payen told French radio station RTL on Thursday. "The same as for other patients, we are in a timescale that goes from one to three years. We must be patient."
Schumacher, now 45, suffered severe head injuries in a fall while skiing in Meribel in the French Alps in December 2013 and was treated initially at a Grenoble hospital.
He was then moved to a hospital in Lausanne, Switzerland, but was discharged in September 2014 to continue his rehabilitation at his sprawling home in the Swiss town of Gland.
Payen said he had continued to treat the former Ferrari and Mercedes driver in Switzerland but divulged no medical details other than to say the German was not in a coma - but neither was he in “a vegetative” state.
"He is in very favourable conditions, his wife Corinna has excellent advisers and she has put in place everything he needs to move forwards."
Payen said Corinna had shown "extraordinary will-power" and had a clear understanding of what was needed and of the road that lay ahead.