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Schumacher injured in ski accident

NEWS STORY
29/12/2013

Seven-time world champion Michael Schumacher has been injured in an incident whilst skiing in the French Alps.

Whilst initial reports claimed the (head) injury to be "serious" it is understood the German was wearing a helmet and his injuries are not as bad as first thought.

The incident took place earlier this morning (Sunday) in Meribel and it is understood the German fell and suffered trauma to his head when he hit a rock. However, when air lifted to hospital he was fully conscious though agitated.

"He has been taken to a hospital in Grenoble," resort director Christophe Gernignon-Lecomte told radio RMC. "I cannot tell how serious his injury is."

In a career that spanned 19 seasons, the German won seven titles, two with Benetton and five consecutive championships with Ferrari.

Having retired at the end of 2006 to make way for Kimi Raikkonen, the German returned to the grid in 2010 with Mercedes.

Whilst his come back was widely seen as disappointing, opinion has been revised in the wake of the new found competitiveness of the 2013 Mercedes and also how (teammate) Nico Rosberg has stacked up against Lewis Hamilton.

Schumacher, who missed much of the second half of the 1999 season following a crash at the start of the British Grand Prix, was lined up to replace Felipe Massa after the Brazilian was injured by a spring that fell from Rubens Barrichello's car during practice for the 2009 Hungarian Grand Prix.

The German turned down the approach from Ferrari citing a neck injury sustained in a motorcycle incident earlier in the year - though Pitpass sources insist that Schumacher's refusal to take the drive was actually more about the uncompetitiveness of the car, which he had described, following a secret test, as a "pile of s**t".

An official statement issued by his spokesperson read: "Michael suffered a head injury in a private ski trip in the French Alps. He was taken to hospital and is receiving professional medical care.

"We ask for understanding that we cannot give continuous information about his health," it continued. "He was wearing a helmet and was not alone. For his fall, no other person was involved."

The German is under the care of Professor Gerard Saillant, the brain and spinal injury expert who succeeded Professor Sid Watkins as president of the FIA Institute.

Professor Saillant is a close friend of both Schumacher and his former team boss at Ferrari, FIA president Jean Todt.

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