Formula One great Michael Schumacher is no longer in a coma and has left a French hospital where he had been receiving treatment since a skiing accident in December, his manager said Monday.
Schumacher left the hospital in Grenoble “to continue his long phase of rehabilitation,” manager Sabine Kehm said in a statement.
She did not say when he was released or where the seven-time F1 champion was taken or give any further details of his condition, and her office refused to elaborate on the statement.
Brigitte Polikar, a spokeswoman for the Grenoble hospital, said Schumacher left on Monday morning, accompanied by an unspecified number of people. She would not give any further details.
Schumacher’s 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,” Kehm’s statement said.
“The family also wishes to thank all the people who have sent Michael all the many good wishes. … We are sure it helped him,” it added. “For the future we ask for understanding that his further rehabilitation will take place away from the public eye,” it added.
The 45-year-old German driver was hospitalized with severe head injuries after his Dec. 29 ski accident, which split his helmet as he crashed into rocks on the slope at the Meribel ski resort in the French Alps.
Doctors in Grenoble put him into a coma to rest his brain and decrease swelling, and they operated to remove blood clots, but some were too deeply embedded.
Little information has been released on Schumacher’s condition over recent months. Monday’s statement was the first substantial update since Kehm said in early April that Schumacher “shows moments of consciousness and awakening.”
Schumacher earned universal acclaim for his uncommon and sometimes ruthless driving talent, which led to a record 91 race wins. He retired from F1 racing in 2012 after an unmatched seven world titles.
Schumacher, his wife and their two children live in Switzerland. His accident happened on a family vacation as Schumacher was skiing with his 14-year-old son.