Respect Schumacher's privacy, reporters told

LUCIEN LIBERT
Last updated 07:27 03/01/2014
Reuters

F1 racing star Michael Schumacher remains in stable condition, but is still in an induced coma. Nathan Frandino reports.

Michael Schumacher
Reuters
INDUCED COMA: Formula One legend Michael Schumacher is still fighting for his life in a French hospital.

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Seven-times Formula One world champion Michael Schumacher is in a stable condition four days after suffering brain injuries in a skiing accident, his agent Sabine Kehm says adding a plea for media to respect his privacy.

Security guards said they intercepted a reporter disguised as a priest trying to get into the 44-year-old German's at the French hospital where he is being treated.

"Security got him before he came close... I don't want to go into details of what exactly we are doing security-wise. However I can assure you there is security because we do have constant attempts from media and people to come close," she said.

Schumacher is battling for his life after slamming his head against a rock while skiing off-piste in the French resort of Meribel on Sunday.

"His condition remains stable this morning. At the moment this is good news but I don't want to go into further prospects as it is too early. He is still in an artificial coma," Kehm said at the hospital in the eastern city of Grenoble.

She added the "situation remained critical" and declined to comment on his recovery prospects. Doctors carried out an operation on Monday to alleviate the build-up of pressure in Schumacher's skull as a result of internal bleeding.

Schumacher's accident triggered an outpouring of concern among fans, former team-mates and rivals around the world. German Chancellor Angela Merkel expressed her shock and hopes for a recovery.

Schumacher's wife Corinna and teenage children Mick and Gina-Marie are at his bedside and he has received visits from his retired motor racing brother Ralf and close friends.

"They have the possibility to see him and be close to him so that is nice. There is always someone with him," said Kehm.

"Corinna, of course, is really not good. But she is trying to be strong for Michael, to give him support and not allow negative thoughts to reach him," Kehm told reporters.

A German publication reported the 44-year-old could have been trying to help a child in trouble when the incident occurred.

"Suddenly the daughter of a friend crashed," Bild newspaper claims.

"Schumi helps the girl, leaving the groomed area and moves about 20 metres in the deep snow between the slopes Biche and Mauduit."

Bild also wrote that he was wearing rental skis, which had been seized by police to check for defects.

Other theories said the accident happened because the racing star was distracted by irritating binding on one foot.

Schumacher was wearing a helmet during the time of the accident.

Without it, Professor Jean-Francois Payen of Grenoble University Hospital's intensive care unit said he "wouldn't be here now".

Schumacher was initially taken to a facility in Moutiers, but was then moved to the University Hospital of Grenoble.

Schumacher, who is due to turn 45 tomorrow, is the most successful Formula One driver of all times with a record 91 race victories in a career spanning more than two decades.

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He left the sport last year after a less successful three-year comeback with Mercedes following an earlier retirement from Ferrari at the end of 2006.

- Reuters

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