A leading neurosurgeon has warned fans to expect the worst of Michael Schumacher after his horror skiing accident.
The Formula One legend suffered devastating head injuries in an accident while skiing in the Swiss Alps in 2013.
Since then updates on the German’s condition have been few and far between, and his family have preferred to keep details around the tragedy to themselves.
‘SADDENS ME’: Lewis Hamilton's incredible bushfire donation
But on Tuesday leading surgeon Nicola Acciari told an Italian newspaper that the seven-time world champion will be completely different and unlikely to truly recover.
“We must imagine a person very different from the one we remember on the track, with a very altered and deteriorated organic, muscular and skeletal structure,” she told Contro Copertina.
“All as a result of the brain trauma he suffered.”
The neurosurgeon’s warning comes after Schumacher’s former manager Jean Todt assured fans that he’s “still fighting”.
“I’m always careful with such statements, but it’s true. I saw the race together with Michael Schumacher at his home in Switzerland,” he said last year.
“Michael is in the best hands and is well looked after in his house. He does not give up and keeps fighting.
“His family is fighting just as much and of course our friendship cannot be the same as it once was just because there’s no longer the same communication as before.”
Schumacher’s family issue rare update
Schumacher has not been seen in public since being put into a medically induced coma in 2013.
Reports surfaced in September that the motorsport legend was transferred to a Paris hospital for secret treatment, with the Schumacher family last making an update on his condition at the start of the year to mark his 50th birthday.
However late last year his wife Corinna gave another cryptic update to supporters.
Corrina urged fans to remain strong in a show of unity, insisting that their support can assist the F1 great's recovery.
“Many small particles can form a huge mosaic,” Corinna said.
“Together you are stronger, and that is exactly how combined forces of the KeepFighting movement make it easier to encourage others.”
A new social media page titled ‘KeepFightingMichael’ has been launched by Schumacher’s fan club, marking six years to the day that Schumacher suffered the head trauma while skiing with his son Mick.
The fan club will use the #KeepFighting message to gain interest on social media, while the family’s foundation of the same name raises money for victims of similar accidents and research into brain and spinal cord injuries.
“Unfortunately, the time has come again, the sixth anniversary of Michael's accident is coming around,” said Reiner Ferling, chairman of Schumacher’s fan club in his hometown.
“Six years full of hope that Michael will one day go out in public again.
“We know that Michael is in good hands, that he gets love, security and confidence. Michael can count himself lucky to have such a strong family behind him.
“As a fan club, we will provide all kinds of support that we can provide.”