Formula 1 legend Michael Schumacher is "conscious" after undergoing stem-cell treatment in Paris, according to a French newspaper.
Earlier this week Le Parisien revealed that the seven-time world champion had been admitted to the Georges-Pompidou hospital for the complex treatment involving transfusions of inflammation-reducing stem cells.
Professor Philippe Menasche, the cardiac surgeon who performed the operation, also carried out the world’s first embryonic cell transplant on a patient with heart failure in 2014.
The newspaper quoted an anonymous staff member at the hospital. They said: “He is in my area. And I can assure you that he is conscious.”
The German, now 50, was left with brain damage in 2013 after suffering an accident when skiing. He has been recovering at his family home in Lausanne ever since.
His family have kept his condition as private as possible, but Italian newspaper La Repubblica quoted biology professor Angelo Vescovi, who claimed that he was “contacted by a person who knew Schumacher’s family”.
He said: “They asked if something could be done (for Schumacher). At that time, we had made an attempt to inject the same cells we use for multiple sclerosis into the brain of a boy in a coma with quite good results.
“At the moment, we can only make assumptions about what they are doing in Paris.”
According to Le Parisien, the former Ferrari and Mercedes driver has 10 security agents watching over him at the hospital and that his treatment would remain secret for confidential reasons.
Former manager urges family to open up
When he turned 50, his family issued a statement saying they are "doing everything humanely possible" and "that he is in the very best of hands".
Nick Fry, who managed the German while he was at Mercedes has talked about Schumacher and his accident in his new book Survive. Drive. Win. He writes: “Corinna (Schumacher’s wife) and the family have kept a very tight control on information about his condition and his treatment which, I think, is a pity.
“There are millions of people out there who have a genuine affection for Michael, and that’s not just his fans in Germany or fans of Mercedes Benz.
“He has sustained an injury while skiing, which unfortunately happens to ordinary people every year. Families of those in recovery generally react better if they know other people are in the same boat.
“I am sure that techniques and therapies have been developed and tried (with Schumacher) over the last few years that may well help others.
“It would be helpful for his family to share how they have dealt with this challenge.”
Schumacher’s management declined Yahoo Sports’ request for comment.
By Yahoo Sport UK