December 30, 2013 in Sports

Schumacher critically injured while skiing

Associated Press
 

PARIS – Seven-time Formula One champion Michael Schumacher was in critical condition after undergoing brain surgery following a skiing accident in the French Alps on Sunday, doctors said.

The Grenoble University Hospital Center said the retired racing driver arrived at the clinic in a coma and underwent immediate surgery for a serious head trauma.

It was not clear whether the 44-year-old Schumacher was still in a coma but the hospital statement, which was signed by a neurosurgeon, an anesthesiologist and Marc Penaud, the hospital’s deputy director, said “he remains in a critical condition.”

Schumacher fell while skiing off-piste in Meribel earlier Sunday and hit his head on a rock, according to a statement from the resort. Resort managers said he had been wearing a helmet and was conscious when rescuers responded to the scene.

Initially, authorities said his life was not in danger.

But the situation began to appear more serious when the resort said that orthopedic and trauma surgeon Gerard Saillant had traveled from Paris to the hospital in Grenoble to examine Schumacher. German news agency DPA said it was Saillant who operated on Schumacher when he broke his leg during a crash at the Silverstone race course in 1999.

In an email to the Associated Press, Schumacher’s manager Sabine Kehm said the champion German driver was on a private skiing trip and “fell on his head.”

Schumacher’s 14-year-old son was skiing with his father when the accident happened, the resort said.

Schumacher initially retired from F1 in 2006 after winning five straight titles with Ferrari following two earlier ones with Benetton.

He returned to the sport in 2010 and drove for three seasons for Mercedes without much success before retiring again last year.

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